CHRISTINE GITTINS

Christine Gittins was born and educated in South Africa and for the past fifteen years established herself as a potter there. She moved to Wales in the beginning of 1994 and set up a studio in Mid-Glamorgan.

Her pots are wheel-thrown in red earthenware clay and finely turned to produce a smooth finish. Setting form above function, she explores the three- dimensional qualities of the vessel within the confined restrictions of the potter's wheel, striving for innovation whilst retaining the classical traditions of the past.

Surface decoration on the highly burnished pots is kept to a minimum - often only a band of lustre, relying on the flames of the smoke-firing to mark the smooth clay. A final application of polish applied to a warmed pot, brushed to a high shine, gives an almost sensual tactile quality to her work.

The relation between the traditional firing methods of the rural African potter and Christine's approach to the surface treatment of her pots is unmistakable, but then so is the classical shape of her vessels related to her upbringing and education in a western culture. Her work is inspired by, and the result of this intermingling of different cultures on one continent.

In South Africa her work is found in several public collections, and she was the recipient of a number of awards on Regional and National level. Since settling in Wales she has been selected to the Makers Guild of Wales and recently become a Professional member of the Craft Potters Association in Great Britain.

She had participated in various group shows in Wales and England with the South Wales potters and Makers Guild in Wales, and her work is found in many prestigious galleries countrywide.