Fiona Byrne-Sutton - Fiona Byrne-Sutton

Hand building,
Slip casting

The Angel's Share - current work

An unsuspecting late teen visits Giotto di Bondone’s Scrovegni Chapel frescoes (1303-1305), in Padua Italy. She stumbles upon Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Maesta (1308-1311) in Siena Cathedral. Forty years on my freestanding ceramic assemblages imaginatively explore the emotional space induced by the chapel and the “Maesta” and the place they fill across 700 years. I call the poetics of this felicitous place, “The Angel’s Share,” the name given to that portion of spirit lost to evaporation as monkish distillers popularised “acqua vitae” throughout Christendom.

At the same time my material process engages with modernism’s formalist legacy through the deconstruction of narrative into discrete components, colour, visible process (press moulded raw ceramic, mono-printing, collagraphy) and the repetition of minimalist rectangles. The interior of a duchess teacup and textures adapted from embossed wall paper make allusion to design history, as does the combination of press moulded and slip cast ceramic.

I distil time and place through material process and the deconstruction of ceramic narrative. My crystocal plinth creates a place, an arena to explore this immateriality. Slip cast beakers and emblems are actors who regroup in and around a trio of press moulded rectangles, guiding the eye up, down or across as in Duccio’s square paintings. Thus Golden Gate (after Giotto) is informed by Giotto’s fresco “Meeting at the Golden Gate.” Here a figure shrouded in black watches Anna and Joachim embrace. The assemblage is my response to the couple’s deep gaze, often cited as the first time human prescience has a place in Western art. In my assemblage, the press moulded freestanding terracotta rectangle, mirrors the form of Giotto’s city gate. My use of colour is semiotic. The rectangle’s earth colour is temporal. A green figure is witness. With my black beaker prescience becomes engraved volume.

Repeating forms and the spaces in between are fixations in time as is the solitary compressing of clay. The windows, the recesses, the teacup interior are inversions of each other for these singular forms are also huts, a core image of inhabiting, of dreaming solitude. Clay’s material substance is unbounded time and space made visceral. The spectator's origining imagination inhabits and reinvents the forms, the material and processes, locating the angel’s share as a place within themselves, simultaneously vast and intimate. At the same time, solid press moulded clay is unexpectedly weighty, its gravity is reflexive, making us suddenly aware of our body in space. Metaphysical space is this place.

Made in Scotland, The Angel’s Share frame of reference looks outward across Europe, it is a distillation of our common cultural heritage.

This member runs courses:

Glasgow, Monday evening 4 week pottery course, 26 Feb - 19 March, 18.30pm- 9pm £100.00, GIFT VOUCHERS Posted on by Fiona Byrne-Sutton

Have your own ideas? You will develop these. Or bring in a photo of a painting or textile you really like for inspiration. Have fun learning how to make families of objects - through colour, form, texture, or a plinth - be it functional vessels or sculpture inspired by this painting. This method shows you how to think design and explore in depth. If you have worked with clay before you will be surprised by your journey and the results and it will change the way you think about and look at paintings or objects. For those of you new to pottery you will learn core skills -such as slab building, coiling, throwing on the wheel and how to translate 2d into 3d. Decorate your designs with slip, sgraffitto, sponge ware, glaze. Each session will introduce a new technique. Please note that pottery class payment is non-refundable.

All materials included in price. Work will be fired for you to keep and take away and must be collected within two weeks of class finish. Classes are in my South Glasgow, Mosspark/Cardonald studio. Max 5 people per class.

Fiona is an experienced teacher and artist who exhibits nationally. You will work in her well equipped artist studio. Full Payment online - email her for details- or by cheque secures your place. Free on street parking and buses. Gift vouchers available. Location: Mosspark Boulevard, South Glasgow G52 1JH Find out more via my web-site: ; (copy and paste this into your browser if link doesn't work) Feel free to contact me with any enquiries by email: or tel/text: 07904491649.

Contact details:

Fiona Byrne-Sutton

Fiona Byrne-Sutton

Bunaite, 7 Ferindonald, Teangue, Sleat, the Isle of Skye, Highlands and Islands IV44 8RF

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Fiona Byrne-Sutton
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