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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Róisín O'Connor

A nest made by the larvae of a wasp symbiotically with an oak tree. A nest on a branch, that fell in a storm.
Launch Project
Oak Wasp GallStoneware, Natural Glazes (wood-ash) Reduction, 35 x 25 cm Made on the Pottery Wheel.


A mossy green cocoon, a vessel like form, created by a creature.
Hive Stoneware, Natural glazes (wood-ash) Reduction, 45 x 25 cm

Ursula Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest

"No way was clear, no light unbroken, in the forest. Into wind, water, sunlight, there always entered leaf and branch, bole and root, the shadowy, the complex. Little paths ran under the branches, around the bones, over the roots; they did not go straight, but yielded to every obstacle, devious as nerves. The ground was not dry and solid but damp and springy, Product of the collaboration of living things with the long, elaborate death of leaves and trees; tiny mushrooms that sprouted in circles half an inch across…” 

Many mushrooms clustered like barnacles onto the surface of a stone.
Polypore Bracket FungiPorcelain and Black Stoneware Clay. 25 x 15 cm and 34 x 22 cm
A nest of the horns made by a bird, woven like a basket into an intricate home for a bird.
Launch Project
Nest of Narwhal Horns Paper Porcelain Clay, Unglazed, 15 x 10 cm
A trio of seed pod, shell and hive of differing tones of grey and black
Stoneware and Black Clay, Glazed and Unglazed. Various sizes ranging from 45 x 28 cm to 18 x 10 cm
a large hive like form on the potters wheel.
Large Hive A work-in-progress, all work is made on the potters wheel.

Craft skill to implement design.

There is a quiet integrity involved in the study of nature, just like the quiet determination of being on the pottery wheel, the tool with which I make all my pieces. But it’s my hands and imagination that makes this work. Demonstrating the existence of intangible assets and why craft skills need to be kept alive in people, so we can create form in otherwise empty space. I approach clay with a sense of calm methodical growth, mimicking striations of geology, bracket fungi or unfurling spring leaves. I gather the spectacle and wonder during field trips and then let the wheel interpret this data. 

Róisín O’Connor (b.1991) lives and works in the UK and over the past ten years her practice has been focused on wheel-thrown forms. After completing an undergraduate degree in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, she went on to study production throwing and skills with the Design & Crafts Council Ireland in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Her studies were sponsored by Charlotte Fraser and Grocers Hall Bursary and Scholarship. She was awarded by the Anglo-Swedish Society a three month residency to further her practice with Konstfack University of Arts, Craft and Design in Stockholm. This summer she will complete her MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. 

A green landscape of striations, like roads in the woods, rippling water or sound waves.

"So there I lie on the plateau, under me the central core of fire from which was thrust this grumbling grinding mass of plutonic rock, over me blue air, and between the fire of the rock and the fire of the sun, scree, soil and water, moss, grass, flower and tree, insect, bird and beast, rain and snow - the total mountain. Slowly I have found my way in." Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

I belong in wild places, to the remote green mossy fringes of existence. My work comes from encounters with the more-than-human and I delight in foraged spectacles of nature. When physically making at the wheel, I commune with my internal mycelium network and let the fungi, lichen, flora and fauna speak through me. I’m attempting to recreate that dopaminergic rush that is released when I make discoveries of an enigmatic specimen: an abandoned nest, oak wasp gall, slime mould, bracket fungi, stalagmite, or Neolithic stone carving. 

Each work is imbricated with the essence and magic of these things and places. My ambition is to lean into instinct, letting my craft skills translate this message just like a spider or bird making a web or nest. I want to generate a sense of material phenomenon and metaphor through imaginative surface treatment.