INTRODUCING JOANNA LING CERAMICS
The Pedestal is delighted to be offering Joanna Ling’s stunning and innovative porcelain Wave bowls online at The Pedestal Bespoke.
In conversation with Joanna we explore how her long-held passion for ceramics and the English countryside led to a brand new career and way of life.
Joanna Ling spent 32 years at Sotheby’s, having first worked for the auction house during her gap year. A brief spell in publishing followed after her graduation and she then joined the firm to work on the highlights’ magazine, Preview. After roles in two specialist departments, Joanna established the Picture Library which also included the Cecil Beaton Studio Archive – a remarkable group of vintage prints, negatives and slides purchased from the renowned photographer in 1977. Beaton’s witty and erudite eye has been a consistent source of inspiration for Joanna, and coupled with her working environment, full of beautiful objects, she was spurred on to create her own exquisite works.
There was no dilemma for Joanna in the choice of clay as her material – for many years she had been fascinated by its tactile qualities, the sheer range of creative possibilities it allows and the wide variety of glazes and patterns. Its elemental nature, a product of the earth, was also appealing. Following an evening class in ceramics, about 6 years ago, Joanna entered a piece in the Sotheby’s Staff Exhibition and a commission followed on swiftly. The possibility of developing this passion into a business soon became a viable proposition. And, specifically porcelain became the clay she most favoured – because of its delicacy and translucence and the challenge of handling it, given its fine properties.
Joanna’s Wave bowl design initially came about as a small spontaneous shape, which with some experimentation clearly had the potential to work in a number of sizes. Wave bowls are produced using the slab technique, a technique dating from ancient times where the hand artistry of the potter shines through and designs impossible to create on the wheel or through coil construction can be realised. Everything Joanna produces is made to order, and this applies to her porcelain Wave designs where every bowl is unique.
Joanna’s aesthetics stem from her on-going relationship with the countryside, its motifs and patterns, and, above all, light as seen in nature. She grew up in Hampshire, and here her playground was the land and woods surrounding the family home where she freely roamed and rambled. Now based in South west London, Richmond Park is on her doorstep, and Joanna’s works are informed by its ever-changing palette of soft, natural hues and the tremendous range of wild grasses which thrive there.
Joanna’s most recent project brought together the worlds of Beaton and ceramics in a major exhibition, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things, at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The carefree and extravagant lifestyles of the 1920s and 30s as captured by the keen eye and lens of Cecil Beaton formed the basis of the show. Joanna created a collection of ceramics to accompany the exhibition, inspired by the settings and costumes from this glamorous inter-war era – Beaton and his circle would have been impressed.
Joanna describes her new working life as ‘bliss’, and she continues to attend classes in ceramics, acknowledging that ‘as a potter you never stop learning’. However, her office is now the studio in her garden, complete with a potter’s wheel and kiln. Amongst Joanna’s other diversions, her skills in photography and image styling have been deployed in the creation of her own brand: Joanna Ling Ceramics; she favours natural light with her pieces invariably shot against complimentary textiles and uses her own home as the backdrop for shoots. The business has grown in a short space of time through the traditional word of mouth and the power of Instagram, leading to commissions from home and abroad and from both existing and new contacts.
Browse and buy Joanna’s Wave bowls here
Contact us for more information and to enquire about Joanna Ling’s range of Wave bowls: firstname.lastname@example.org