About Jane Burden
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"A growing interest in exploring low-fired ceramics provoked new work that was more connected to the earth: local clays and pigments produced a successful series of sculptural bowls which perfectly caught the colours, textures and sensual folds of the ancient landscape."
Connecting with a deep seam, whether it be ancient landscape, social history or emotions in turmoil, is what fires my work. Strong farming and family ties connect me to Dorset, but I was born in the north country and brought up in the Forces: an example of the personal contraflows that seem to fuel my creative energy.
An idyllic foundation year at Bath Academy of Art was quickly replaced by three gritty design years at Leeds Polytechnic, studying 3D Design specialising in Furniture. The days spent over a drawing board were relieved by spells in the ceramic and textile departments; two creative passions that I still try to meaningfully combine. Six years running a textile workshop in Dorset were followed by a year of hard study at Cambridge University, the subsequent decades of teaching providing a satisfying period of interactions.
Now, free to follow my own leads, I explore emotions associated with a sense of place. A hanging in Dorset County Museum saw childhood angst escaping from a stack of encyclopaedias; a collection of old photographs being released from a leather storage case made a visiting probate solicitor cry. On discovering a connection to Sherborne House I recorded history as fine porcelain labels: structural details, locks and keys and abandoned schoolroom objects were cast from moulds and hung with new-found status.
A growing interest in exploring low-fired ceramics provoked new work that was more connected to the earth: local clays and pigments produced a successful series of sculptural bowls which perfectly caught the colours, textures and sensual folds of the ancient landscape.
A permanent piece in Dorset County Hospital uses low-tech, efficient ceramic methods to turn 21 satellite photographs into a 'girdle round the earth', celebrating and wondering at our place in this new technological world. More recently, with thoughts disturbed by a family health issue, my response was to work it through in a cathartic series of hangings called 'Tangled Threads'. One piece in wrapped wool and burnished, smoked, clay won me overall winner at Ilminster Open; where my work was again described as 'hitting a powerful punch'.
I was a full member of the Dorset Craft Guild and I am a founder of Cambridge Open Studios.