Claudia Rankin is a British multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Northumberland. Claudia's Foundation Art Course was at Wimbledon School of Art then she studied Fine Art at Canterbury College of Art from 1984 to 1987. Claudia completed her MA in Sculpture at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1989. As an art student Claudia worked in clay alongside various other media including cement, plaster, steel and bronze. At that time she was taking casts from the clay rather than decorating and firing it. Initially she made two dimensional pictorial collages but it was when she discovered the ceramics studio that she found her natural medium and the endless possibilities of working with clay. Claudia's sculptures are a combination of hand building and casting techniques. The caddies are cast using liquid clay slip into moulds which results in a thin layer of ceramic. The plates are cast by laying white terracotta slabs onto plaster moulds which have been taken from old plates. Everything is then decorated using coloured slips before their first firing. After that they are sprayed with a clear glaze and fired again. This seals the whole surface and makes the vivid colours pop.
The artist creates visually exciting work which is constantly evolving. Claudia was born and grew up in London where she spent many afternoons as a child exploring the textile and ceramic collections within the Victoria & Albert Museum. Claudia's mother was an antique dealer who specialised in Oriental porcelain. The artist's work is inspired and full of personality with a natural wit and vibrancy that infuses each piece. They are made with great love, referencing her childhood and the artists she admires. These hand made ceramics in Rankin's unique style, include tea caddies, tiles, plates, platters and vases. The artist displays an enduring fascination with colour, pattern, motif and historical narratives. These ceramic artworks are decorated with mystical medieval-looking creatures surrounded by swirls of colour and shapes. They feel contemporary but are also historical and traditional not unlike a rare treasure unearthed at an antique salesroom, junk shop or flea market.
Claudia Rankin's ceramics been exhibited here in the UK and internationally in places such as New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Here, in London, Claudia is represented by WSJ Gallery.
"Only the heartless would be able to resist Rankin's pottery. Brightly coloured and a bit wonky, her creations remind me of the best efforts of a gifted yet slightly disturbed child, adorned as they are with a menagerie of animal characters simultaneously innocent and knowing".
Hugo Guinness, New York Times T Magazine