Anna Olson - Ceramic Artist
Born in Nottingham, England.
Lives & works Crieff, Scotland.
For over twenty years I have been working or playing with clay, a creative medium that never ceases to surprise, enthral, frustrate and challenge me. Clay is my greatest teacher and harshest critic... it can be incredibly forgiving, yet at the same time utterly uncompromising.
My ceramic work continues to be inspired primarily by nature, particularly geological forms, minerals, metals, shells and the sea... the very elements that create clay and glazes. I draw on my life experiences, the years of rock climbing (in Welsh slate quarries to snow-covered alpine routes) and long distance sailing voyages… seeing the coastlines of continents and ever changing seas. I am increasingly aware of and influenced by, the impact that mankind is having on the planet, from cutting and carving to burning and polluting.
A decisive shift in my approach to working with clay came in April 2019 on a workshop with renowned ceramicist Eddie Curtis at La Meridiana, the International School of Ceramics in Tuscany. The first being the introduction of the Japanese aesthetic 'wabi-sabi' - Simply translated as the beauty of imperfection. Accepting your imperfections and making the most of life, how apt a philosophy to counter balance the 'developed' world's obsessive focus on perfection. This 'letting go' of a preconceived idea of what beauty is, is enabling me to grow and develop further as a maker and artist. The second influence was a lesson in a specific process of making, drawing on the ancient Japanese technique of 'kurinuki', the hollowing out of a solid shaped form of clay to create an internal space…
Welcome to my creative work.