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Ceramicist carves out award win

30 July 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Master’s student Lanty Ball wins International Ceramics Festival 2015 Emerging Makers Award

A talented ceramics student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating after winning a specialist arts competition.

Lanty Ball, from Preston, has scooped the 2015 Potclays Emerging Makers Award at the highly prestigious International Ceramics Festival.

The part-time MA Ceramics student said: “It felt really good to win the Emerging Makers Award. It was nice to get the validation from the industry professionals after working for so long in the studio.”

The 23-year-old, who also completed his BA (Hons) Contemporary Crafts at UCLan, creates carved and textured vessels using porcelain. He incises the external surfaces of his vessels with parallel lines, using a technique that fractures the clay and creates a texture that is reminiscent of the fragmented patterns found in eroded rock faces.

“The feedback I received about my work was extremely encouraging and it has given me a renewed drive to continue developing my current collection of carved vessels.”

During the Festival Lanty was one of six finalists who had to present their finished work and explain the rationale behind their creations. The decision to choose Lanty as the winning student was made by a public vote.

They were impressed with his core practice, which he has developed from a reflective design process, shifting between contextual research, drawing and experimentation with materials and processes.

The former Lancaster Boys Grammar School and Blackpool and the Fylde College pupil said: “The feedback I received about my work was extremely encouraging and it has given me a renewed drive to continue developing my current collection of carved vessels.”

As part of his prize Lanty will travel to Montana’s Archie Bray Foundation, in America, in November 2016 for a month-long residency.

“Lanty’s presentation gave us a fascinating insight to his unique experimental method of incising and fracturing the surfaces of his parian and porcelain forms.”

He said: “My American residency will enable me to develop a new collection of work with two complimentary pathways. The first uses a water etching technique to draw directly on to the ceramic surface. The second involves carving more loosely into ceramic pieces to create fluid forms that are more reminiscent of calligraphic lines.”

The Potclays Emerging Makers Award is open to UK-based new ceramicists and artists working with clay, who have graduated from a UK university or institute of higher education within the past five years or who are graduating this summer.

Becky Otter, a Director at Potclays, added: “Lanty’s presentation gave us a fascinating insight to his unique experimental method of incising and fracturing the surfaces of his parian and porcelain forms. We await with great anticipation the results of his residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in the USA.”

This is the second year in succession that a student from UCLan’s ceramics course has won this award. In 2013, Lisa Svensk-Armstrong won a residency at the Waikato Society of Potters, in New Zealand.