Gabriele Koch ceramics

Gabriele Koch

recent ceramics

14 May – 2 July 2022

‘Earth, water, air and fire. Gabriele Koch’s lovely pots speak of all four of those elements as vividly as any I know.’ Sir David Attenborough

‘These  pots exhibit such tremendous “presence” that one can sense the tension created, as if the walls are being stretched by the force of containment.’ Peter Lane, Ceramic Review 

We are delighted to present an exhibition of recent work by the eminent ceramicist Gabriele Koch. Widely revered as a consummate artist in clay, Gabriele Koch’s ceramics are admired by collectors worldwide. Her search has always been for simplicity, restraint and beauty in her work. Recently she has been exploring new techniques and materials, finding ways to combine heavy black clay with white porcelain, and working with texture and pale slips over dark clay to create new pieces that exude a compelling quietude. Please scroll down to read Gabriele’s statement about her new work.

Gabriele’s new work is available to view below. Please contact us on gallery@sladersyard.co.uk tel: 44 (0)1308 459511 with any enquiries.

Gabriele Koch 14. Dreaming Vessel, H30cm SOLD

Gabriele’s ceramics are in public collections across Britain, Europe, Canada and USA as well as private collections worldwide. Edmund de Waal called her pots, ‘articulate: they are wide in reach and deeply focussed.’  Tony Birks’ monograph, Gabriele Koch Hand building and smoke firing, was published in 2009 with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough. As Tony Birks wrote,‘There is something that lies beyond skill and experience: it is passion, an intensity which is evident in the work of Gabriele Koch.’ 

Born in Germany, she came to UK as a graduate from the University of Heidelberg, attended Camden Institute and King’s College London qualifying in Education before studying Art & Design at Goldsmiths. She was awarded two Crafts Council grants in 1982 and 1984 and won a prize at the international Biennale in France in 1984. She was a visiting lecturer at Farnham School of Art from 1987 to 1998 when she gave a lecture tour in Israel with the British Council. In 2011 she gave the inaugural Rothschild Memorial lecture at Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead.

Concentrating on simple forms, Gabriele Koch integrates, in her own words, ‘balance and tension, stillness and movement, expansion and containment, precision and spontaneity.’ All her pieces are hand built. The white earthenware pieces are burnished by hand to achieve a tactile surface with a slightly vibrational appearance. The silken burnished surface is interrupted and contrasted with a worked-in texture, they are fired to 1000C. The stoneware pieces have integrated bands of porcelain, which are sometimes complemented by brushed-on porcelain slip. Some pieces have painted-on porcelain slip only. The final surface is often achieved by multiple firings to 1200C.

Sentinel group

View the show

Gabriele Koch’s new work is now available to view below and buy or reserve. Please contact the gallery on gallery@sladersyard.co.uk or t: +44 (0)1308 459511 with any enquiries.

We are very happy to ship ceramics at cost.

Any enquiries, please email: gallery@sladersyard.co.uk

20. Black Moon, porcelain lines H35cm £1,500

Gabriele Koch Statement for Sladers Yard 2022

Although I grew up in Germany my initial desire to work in clay was kindled in Spain. Repeated visits to the interior had left a deep impression: an open desert-like landscape with simple horizon lines and strong earth colours, hints of Africa and early cultures next to contemporary artists like Antoni Tàpies and Eduardo Chillida, the organic architecture of Gaudi and strong sculptural forms of unglazed pots bearing the marks of fire on their naked surface.

There was perhaps a meeting of the ancient and the modern, the rural and the urban that led me to the making of simple forms, trying to integrate balance and tension, stillness and movement, expansion and the containment of volume, precision and spontaneity. The concept of the vessel form became central to my work, hoping to create associations with sharing, ritual and celebration, reminders of our humanity, our common history and connection with nature.

The inspiration for my current work came from looking at geological landscape and how different layers of sediment combine in rock formations. This led me to the idea of combining opposite materials like stoneware clay and porcelain. I continue to experiment with surface texture and colour, trying to express natural formations as for example recently observed in the Atacama Desert, or capture the colour of the Namibian savannah. I am exploring the different qualities of clay, celebrating the beauty of the natural material.

For this exhibition I have created a group of spherical forms including Moon Jars, forms which relate to harmony and peace. A second group consists of contrasting tall forms including Sentinels and Stones, which might evoke the idea of guardians and ritual, aspects of community. In addition there are more open individual vessels, some combining stoneware and solid porcelain, some also treated with additional porcelain slip, or porcelain slip only. All pieces are hand built and fired several times.

Gabriele Koch March 2022

Contact us on 01308 459511 or email gallery@sladersyard.co.uk with any enquiries.