Sasha Wardell has been working in bone china for almost forty years. Her formal training in ceramics included both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Bath Academy of Art and North Staffordshire Polytechnic, respectively with industrial training secondments to L’Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs, Limoges, France, and Royal Doulton in Stoke on Trent. An industrial approach to traditional bone china manufacturing processes has strongly influenced the way in which Sasha presently works, reflecting her fascination for methods and materials which present a challenge. It is for this reason that bone china, with all its idiosyncrasies, has remained her favourite material. Her current work consists of decorative and functional slipcast pieces, including ranges of bespoke bowls, vases, tea-ware and lighting.
The Object: 5 – Layered Space Bowl, first made around 2010
14.5 h x 17 cm diameter. Bone china. £250
During a research fellowship project at Bath Spa University in 2000, Sasha studied the multi-layering glass techniques of Graal and Sommerso. Sasha then developed a slip casting method which could mimic these effects and which enhances the natural translucent qualities of bone china. The slipcast bowl has multiple layers, revealed through a careful slicing technique.
Similarly sized pieces are in several private collections. A larger-scale piece using the same technique and colourway is in the collection of the National Ceramics Museum, Grimmerhaus, Denmark. This piece was also was used as an example on The Great Pottery Throwdown ( Series 3) to demonstrate slip casting.
Sasha Wardell on her Signature Style
‘I have always been fascinated by materials and techniques which present a challenge. Bone china is a very single-minded and unforgiving material yet it possesses qualities of translucency and acts as a perfect basis for colour response. Mould making can also present several challenges but once mastered gives a great sense of achievement.’
Sasha achieves her wonderful decoration using a subtle palette of colours and skillful incision into the bowl form. Preston Fitzgerald (curator and collector)