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Details

First Name

Annemarie

Last Name

Mullan

Nickname

Hand2maden

My Ceramics

In the studio I like to do

Handbuilding, Sculpting, Slip casting

Pottery Wheel

I don't throw. I mainly build.

Clay body

Earthenware, Stoneware, Porcelain

Clay Brand

Scarva Pottery's Smooth Crank, Flax Clay and porcelain

Kiln Type

Electric Kiln

Kiln Atmosphere

Oxidation Atmosphere

Temperature

Bisque – 990° and Glaze -1200°

Glaze

Amoco, Scarva-mixed glazes

You can buy my work from
  1. @hand2maden on Instagram
  2. The Puffin Gallery
  3. The Crowley Gallery

About Me

Introduction

My name is Annemarie Mullan. I am an Ormeau studio-based artist in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I have an MFA in puppet animation from New York University and an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University in Belfast.

These both inform my work in clay.

My ceramic sculptures can be seen on Instagram @hand2maden.

My work is mostly figurative and informed by childhood memories of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, classical myths and fables.

I use historical and archetypal costumes as templates upon which to incorporate these narratives.

I also studied Jewellery and Silver-smithing at the University of Ulster and this influence is reflected in my  porcelain jewellery and my figurative work in cast bronze.

A year studying Horticulture is reflected in my 1940’s Landgirl planters and the bee-glade garden I am creating around my studio.

What I Love about Ceramics

I love the alchemy of clay, its universal cultural applications, the endless secrets to be discovered within the making, chemistry and artistry of the craft and the warm social interactions and narratives of the artisans within this huge creative field.

I love that I could be part of it while exploring my own personal narrative with clay, oxides,stains and glazes in my studio at the bottom of the garden.

How I started with ceramics

I did miniature paintings inside seashells as a child.

Although my degree at art college was in Jewellery and Silver-smithing I would often sneak into Ceramics to work with porcelain to make figures to go into little wooden boxes which I would make in the Furniture department.

Ceramics seemed to be all about pottery and using the wheel and I wasn’t attracted to the type of work which was being produced through this – building with clay didn’t seem to exist as the teachers were all potters.

After I returned to to Ireland from New York – with my two children, I started nightclasses in ceramics to see if I could recreate the painted shell miniatures of my youth in porcelain  – and I was immediately hooked. Ceramics in Belfast had changed in the six years that I’d been away.

I now love what I can do with clay.

What inspires me

The female figure  – especially young girls within an archetypal setting – a nursery rhyme, fairy tale etc is a starting point for me.

I usually see these in a more contemperory setting, bordering on kitsch and Victorian Gothic.

I love playing with costume and text.

I also love playing with people within the landscape.

Other peoples’ work also ispires me….to do my own…

What I'm working on at the moment
  • I am working on a series of ‘Rhymers’ – using a press mould of an original kewpie doll and adapting it.

I am tracing  some of the nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters back to their dark origins and re-presenting their narrative in its original form. For example –

‘..Mary, Quite Contrary’ and how her garden grows was based on the genocide perpetrated by ‘Bloody Mary’ – while she was on the English throne. ‘Silver bells’ and ‘cockle shells’ were instruments of torture..

‘Ring-a-ring of roses’ was a reference to the Black Plague.

I am working in smooth crank, using slips,  stains and underglazes.I’ve also been exploring acrylics as a possible surface finish on fired clay.

I am also making jewellery using black and white porcelain, drawing inspiration from the Sperrin lanscape in the North-West, where I grew up, on Mullans’ Organic Farm.

My Artist Statement

I work as a builder, modeller  and sculptor, with clay – using smooth crank, paperclay and Parian porcelain primarily, to create scenarios with an underlying narrative drawn from the dark side of the nursery rhyme, fairy tale and fragments of Greek myth.

My CV

I have exhibited in various galleries in both the North and South of Ireland, including the Ulster Museum in Belfast and the Royal Botanical  Gardens in Dublin.

I currently sell through the Puffin Gallery in Ballycastle and the Crowley Gallery in Derry and my work is in John Goode’s 2021 edition of Irish Ceramics.

 

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