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Kirsty Macrae


Kirsty is a slipware ceramicist working from her studio in North London. Her work draws inspiration from the heritage of eighteenth century English slipware pottery, using it as a starting point to create her own contemporary ceramics.

She creates work that is a combination of traditional ceramics and abstract sculpture. The vessels are built up slowly and carefully using coils of red earthenware clay. By contrast, the work is decorated quickly and fluidly using a palette of handmade slips and glazes. The application of decoration is inspired by abstract expressionism and she utilises pouring, painting and slip trailing techniques to create lush, layered surfaces

Kirsty first creates the forms by hand, using coils of clay to build the structure. She then refines the shape using an old saw blade and finally uses a rubber kidney to smooth the surface. She lets the form dry very slowly to the leather-hard stage then applies various coloured slips and sgraffitto onto the surface. Once the piece has been bisque fired to 1000 degrees, it is loosely and freely adorned with various glazes by pouring, splashing and slip trailing. All of Kirsty's slips and glazes are handmade, and she spends a considerable amount of time testing subtle variations to achieve the finishes and colours that she is looking for.

The Stratford Gallery believes her work to be some of the most interesting, effective and beautiful work it has shown and far exceeds Kirsty's age and experience in terms of its importance. There is a depth of understanding on colour, a confidence with application and a natural sympathy for form that has translated superbly from her time as a painter having graduated from The Glasgow School of Art's prestigious painting degree in 2009.