Cambridge Open Studios Interviews 2014 - Jane Hollidge

Next in our series of interviews for Cambridge Open Studios is with ceramicist and painter Jane Hollidge. We visited her in her Barrington Studio to find out what inspires her work...
Your ceramics have a strong visual language, and even though you work in a variety of shapes, you can really tell its yours. What has been you main influence in the surface decoration of your pieces?
My family background has always had an artistic grounding,mainly because my parents were very creative.
In 1960 I moved to Asia for a year, this had a great impact on my life, the wonderful simplicity and discipline of art and culture, seen in the way even the most humble of objects are arranged.
I moved to Cambridge in 1962, where I started painting in between bringing up my family and then later attended a Ceramics course to obtain basic technical knowledge and shortly afterwards, opened my own workshop.
Can you briefly describe some of the techniques you employ in your ceramics?
Pottery and clay have always been my passion. I like to keep my shapes simple but interesting by adding lots of vibrant colours. I always make my pots by pinching or coiling, this takes longer but can be very relaxing and also each pot becomes an individual piece of work.
I mostly use white high fired earthenware clay, because it is a good canvas for colour, I also use crank clay as this is good for stabilizing large slab pots. For finishing I use velvet underglazes and crackle glazes.
My slab pots are very different to to my pinch pots, as they are much more technical to produce. I roll out the clay(using a slab roller) and then I cut out the form using a template which forms my signature shape.
Your paintings resonate beautifully with your ceramics. Tell us more...
My paintings are mostly painted using acrylics, but sometimes I use mixed media, where I build up layers of paint on the canvas, creating a textured surface, I love the Norfolk coastline, and always take my sketch book with me, where I note ideas for colours on the side of my sketch, to paint later in my studio.
Talking to you about the Cambridge Open Studios, it's clear you have a real passion for the event. It's fabulous that you are given the chance to mentor new local members. I guess that must be very satisfying?
I will be participating in Cambridge Open Studios during July, which I have been a member of for nearly 20 years, and still find it very satisfying, as it's great to get feedback from talking to the public, and I also make new friends. Being an artist can be a very solitary occupation and it's important to meet other people to talk about my work. I also like to meet new members and give them as much help and advice as I can, as I remember how daunting it can be, the first time.
What dates are you doing for this years Open Studios?
Cambridge Open Studios takes place during the month o f July and I will be open during the weekends 12/13 and 19/20 from 11am to 6pm.
Where else can we find your work for sale?
My work has been exhibited in various Galleries, but Cambridge Contemporary Art in Trinity Street, Cambridge, is my local gallery, my work will be in the November exhibition this year, I will also be taking part in an exhibition called "The Bakers Dozen" in the Round House gallery in Derbyshire, together with several well known Potters. I am also taking part in the Anglian Potters Summer exhibition at Emmanual College. I have exhibited widely in the UK and have work in private collections worldwide.

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