On the 16th June we were very fortunate to have Ruthanne Tudball come to give us a talk with images and a demonstration of how she throws several of her signature pieces. Ruthanne Tudball was born and brought up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in California, a short ride from the sea to the west and the Mojave Desert in the east. So the primal connections to such physical elements as the mountains, sea and desert formed her and been essential to the inspiration for her making pots. To great effect she demonstrated her influences with images of land strata, beaches, rocks, seeds, leaves ad scenery with direct comparisons displayed in her work. She lives now in Norfolk with her husband, David, who she met when she was only 15 and he was 18. Nowadays her influences are worldwide as she travels a great deal.
After her talk Ruthanne commenced to throw pots. Her unique style involves completing the piece entirely while it is still attached to the wheel head, to this end handles, lids and spouts are all thrown first and the body of the piece is then thrown to fit. As with all experienced and expert craftsman Ruthanne made it all look so easy. Her working method is clear to see and while being precise is also free and loose and relaxed. She talked of the need to make time to play and of recognising that there are occasionally days when head and hands are not working together and so it is better to go and catch up on chores. I have attended many CCGG (and other) events, never have I been so engrossed and never has the audience been so silent and attentive. Comments included being thrilled to have just joined as new members and “now I understand what is meant by ‘freeing up’”. For those who were unfortunate to miss this splendid day please go to Ruthanne’s website:
Ruthanne is a fellow of the Craft Potters Association and a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts and was recently elected as a member of the International Academy of ceramics. She can be seen at Art in Action again this year 19th -22nd July.