Lola Swain

Lola's work is hand built from earthenware clay using traditional coil methods. The coil layers are built up from a slab base, a versatile technique allowing a natural from to slowly evolve, in keeping with the intimacy of the process. 

Much of her earliest influence comes from the ancient art of the American Southwest  pottery. Her forms offer a pleasing contrast with the geometric precision of the surface decoration. 

Layers of coloured slip are applied in defined geometric patterns that are, in turn, tempered by their sustained rhythms. The natural colour of the clay is incorporated in the design and is necessary to the completeness of the earthy forms. The concentric markings left by the burnishing create a subtle, textural appearance, recalling the essential qualities of hand built ceramics. Colours are often inspired by those seen in the natural environment, such as stone and the flora and fauna in its many forms.

The Monarch Series, inspired by the butterfly of the same name, involves the techniques of slip decoration and burnishing as used in her previous work. The contrasting darker markings and the warm, golden-orange tones of the Monarch provide a most pleasing combination of pattern and colour. The flowing irregularity of the design provides a sense of movement around the form, delivering an air of grace and elegance such as would be found with the butterfly itself.

Her most recent pots are inspired by the rhythmic, floral and organic stylistic elements of art nouveau. Texture is incorporated in the designs by using the 'sgraffito' technique where pattern is drawn into the clay to reveal the coloured slip and clay body underneath.

In addition, Lola has recently created a memory pot in her brother's name using both symbolic and graphic images showing some times they shared.