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Ceramist Bryony Penman

How did you experience your first year at Yorkshire Artspace? 

My first year has been a busy time spent developing new pieces, ideas and approaches to my work. I have had a great time debating the merits and failings of many an idea with my fellow starters, it has be a really productive environment and my confidence has definitely increased. Its been a tricky balance between sleep, studio and an evening job but my determination to get the most out of it has really motivated me up that hill! Out of my hard work I have got my work into gallerytop, a lovely shop in Rowsley and also the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2013. This will be the first show I will be doing on my own and while I am nervous, with the help of my mentor Susan Disley I am more prepared than I think.

How do you think you have benefited from the support you have been given by Yorkshire Artspace?

The time I have spent at Manor Oaks has been many discussions and mentor sessions which have helped challenge the way I think and approach ideas. Susan Disley has been really supportive, be it a borrowed item or an encouraging word: I feel very privileged to be working along side her. Through the 2012 artist in residence Edith Garcia and practical sessions with Susan I have learnt that there are approaches other than what we were shown at university, which was a revelation. Watching how they work and put their ideas together has enriched my experience and helped me to appreciate other uses of clay. I look forward to learning from Emilie Taylor, the next resident artist, in the coming year. With the Starting Out programme my business confidence has grown I am more empowered to take those essential steps into the market. Fundamentally this year has enabled me time and facilities to produce work in an encouraging atmosphere, I am so glad I have another year in which I can do the same again.

What are your aims for your final year on teh Starter Studio Programme for Ceramists?

In my final year I would like to work on variations and new ideas that I have put on hold for this year. Using colour and geometric shapes to indicate utility and pushing those visual markers into a kind of decoration is something that I have wanted to explore more fully in my design philosophy and making. I am excited to push my boundaries and just hope I don’t run out of energy.

Bryony Penman graduated witha BA in Materials Practice from the University of Brighton in 2012.  She was recently selected for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and will be exhibiting at Gallery Top, Rowsley this year.  Bryony is a recipient of the Fenton Arts Trust bursary award.