Polly Middleton-Heatley | Materials Hub
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Transition Member: Polly Middleton-Heatley

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Polly is a Ceramic artist, maker and designer, who has creativity in her blood. Inspiration and creative motivation come from her love and affection for form, function, colour, and texture. Work constantly develops and emerges from using the marks made by her own building and painting techniques. Thus making the pieces, shapes, and patina, that develop from these characteristics, exclusive and unique.

To sum her up, Polly is an artist who is ahead of the curve, often years before something trends.

Polly creates from within her wooden studio; a white canvas with colour bursting everywhere, at the end of her garden tucked away. She works on varying her disciplined approach every day. She is happy to share – “I’m dyslexic”, which has many upsides and makes people feel at ease.

“I feel like I’m hardwired differently, I see the whole picture and the whole colour wheel all at once and all of the time.” It is in the fusion that Polly can see, colour can be a powerful tool to help mental health and physical well-being.

Through Ceramics, Polly works with white Earthenware Clays and Slips, adding designs and images through her creative technique. This involves using coloured slips, coloured and clear glazes, hand-painted and computer designed ceramic transfers, printed decals, and liquid gold lustres. The pieces are fired up to five times per collection, at differing temperatures, ranging from 1000°c to 1200°c. She does this to add strength and depth, using multiple organic glazes, mixing powders, colours, stains. The slips are put with Silica, which is a form of glass that helps the colours melt and flux, allowing it to stick to the clay body. All these diverse elements come together to give a material quality, excitement, and positive energy to her work.

There are no boundaries and nothing that Polly won’t try to experiment with.

Artist Statement

My collections, painting, printmaking, and designs are bold and strong. I am inspired by nature and the strong identity of the bright yellows and oranges of the sun, the warm azure and cobalt blues of the sky and sea, the bright emerald green of jewels, and the vibrant reds and pinks of flowers, birds, and butterflies. The mix of a rainbow of connecting complimentary colours, to inspire the eyes and bring joy and fun to the viewer, balanced with black and white. I delight in the power of light and colour. 

I am open-minded and spread joy, I adore collections and families of objects that are all slightly different, yet have a sense of belonging. I am passionate about grouping unique pieces together, thereby making a celebration of differences. 

There is always a theme running through my work, be it size, colour, or shape. This links the pieces and gives them a sense of harmony. The collections represent the importance of inclusion. The value of the attachment of the people close-by and the relationship between individual pieces in my work, represents the relationship of individuals within groups. These connections generate strength, which comes from the group rather than just the individual. If a piece is displayed singly, it could be said that it loses its power and significance, however, my work can stand alone and shine. Family and friendship mean the world to me and it seems that this, inadvertently, has become part of my creative philosophy too. 

I get immense pleasure from the making of my art collections, this is reflected in the colourful and fun objects I create and shows how I feel about this wonderful world. Thriving on being an educator, a senior lecturer in Art and Design, and a professional Ceramic artist, designer, and maker. Similarly developing and increasing creative bodies of Ceramics work. 

 

 

“There are no boundaries. Nothing Polly won’t try to experiment with.”

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