About Amanda Popham
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"It was during this time (1981-1991) I moved on from making figures to experimenting with vessel forms, which opened up a whole new way of making and thinking and playing with form. "
Studio: Schoolhouse House,Thorncombe, Chard TA20 4PL
Number: 01297 678559
I was born in London in 1954. I studied at Merrist Wood College of Agriculture. City and Guilds in Agriculture from 1971 to 1973 then completed my Art Foundation at Bradford College of Art in 1974. Following this I graduated with a BA Fine Art Ceramics from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1977 and then MA in ceramics from the Royal College of Art in 1979. From 1978 to 2001 I supplied the One Off department and later the British Crafts Room at Liberty, London with one-off pieces. During this time I also showed work at the Portal Gallery, Bond Street.
In 1981 I left London and moved with my partner and two small children into a caravan on a piece of land with a derelict bungalow in Dorset. Over the next ten years we built a house, had another baby and I continued to supply Liberty. I made a garden, planted lots of trees and raised my children.
It was during this time I moved on from making figures to experimenting with vessel forms, which opened up a whole new way of making and thinking and playing with form. I also became more interested in ceramics. Up until then clay was just the stuff I used to realise ideas. Suddenly I was part a tradition of eccentric people from everywhere all over the world and throughout history who make surprising, often strange, funny and sometimes disturbing things out of clay.
In 1995 I won the Inax Design Prize for Europeans. Part of the prize enabled me to work for three months in the design studios of the Inax Ceramics Company in Tokoname near Nagoya in Japan. We made our own work using Japanese materials. At the end of the prize we exhibited the pieces we’d made in Tokoname and then in Tokyo and the work stayed in the collection of Inax.
When I got home I did an Adult Education Teaching certificate and was elected a member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Through the Guild I have been a visiting artist in Devon schools through the inspirational Big Hand Little Hand scheme. I also ran adult evening classes through Dorset Adult Education and later independently. I still run a weekly class from home.
The coming of the internet has completely changed the way makers can sell their work and communicate with customers. Living in a field and making things is more viable than ever. You just have to keep coming up with the ideas.