Archived: Jola Spytkowska

Jola Spytkowska Crafty Stanley

Crafty Stanley

Made with White St Thomas clay body, brush on glazes and fired to earthenware 23cm

This little character came about as a result of wanting to make a piece which looked friendly but could also be slightly threatening – has he got his hackles up or is he just showing off his range of tools? Want your nails filed? Stanley’s the man. Haircut? Ask Stanley.  He can even take your inside leg measurement and crack your nuts if you trust him enough but he does have those sharp little teeth and that sly, crafty look…

After graduating from Goldsmith’s College with a post grad degree in Ceramics I based my studio practice in East London where I design and handbuild quiirky ceramic creatures with personalities. My figures often have a playful and humorous element to them and are produced as a result of my passion for exploring familiar, everyday objects and discarded materials.

I am always looking for human and animal personalities in the objects around me. I may for example look at a tin opener and see a little tin pot dictator barking orders or at an old stanley tape measure and see a startled dog sticking its tongue out at me. Even handbags have personalities and facial expressions – some have an impish smile, others can look grumpy or haughty and some look sad.

Drawing helps me to explore and develop these ideas. My aim is to animate the characters with body language or an emotional expression which can then open up a dialogue and connection with the viewer and between the creatures themselves, the dialogue changing as different personalities face each other.

The main inspiration behind my work is my love of animals, observing human foibles and an interest in folk tales, fantasy, myths and magic.

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