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© Shannon Tofts
© Shannon Tofts
© Shannon Tofts
© Shannon Tofts

Frances Priest

  • Ceramicist
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Master Artisan
Frances Priest Ceramicist
Contact
English
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+44 7879636358
© David Anderson Courtesy CraftScotland

For the love of colour and pattern

  • • Frances discovered ceramics at art college
  • • Travel opened her eyes to a world of decoration
  • • She 'draws' patterns on clay with a scapel

Frances Priest grew up in a family where making was a part of everyday life. She loved drawing, and recalls her “strange habit” of colouring in patterns on graph paper. So it was perhaps inevitable that she would build a career in craftsmanship influenced by her fascination with pattern and passion for drawing. Initially, however, her work was minimalist and monochrome, exploring relationships between line and form. But that all changed when a period of international travel opened her eyes to a world of colourful decoration and ornament. She now creates intricately patterned ceramic vessels in her Edinburgh studio, as well as taking on site-specific commissions, such as working on a Scottish island to create decorative ceramics exploring plant habitats.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Shannon Tofts Photography
  • © Shannon Tofts Photography
  • © Shannon Tofts Photography
  • © Shannon Tofts Photography
  • © Shannon Tofts Photography
Photo: © Shannon Tofts Photography
Gathering Places | Collage I

At first sight, this multicoloured jagged-edged bowl appears to be made of small pieces fitted together like a puzzle. Closer inspection, however, reveals a single form made up of intricately decorated patterns. The piece was created for an ongoing series of vessel forms that gather and celebrate decorative motifs from different cultures, places and periods of history, ranging from Japanese fans and Roman parquet to modernist grids and Mexican folk art.

Diameter 40 cm
Height 20 cm

Frances Priest Ceramicist
Photo: © Shannon Tofts Photography
Collage II

At first sight, this light red and white ceramic vessel appears to be made of different pieces fitted together. Closer inspection, however, reveals one intricately decorated form. The piece is part of an ongoing series of vessel forms that gather and celebrate decorative motifs from different cultures, places and periods of history, ranging from Japanese fans and Roman parquet to modernist grids and Mexican folk art.

Diameter 40 cm
Height 20 cm

Frances Priest Ceramicist
Photo: © Shannon Tofts Photography
Gathering Places | Rosette coral

This ceramic vessel, part of an ongoing series that gathers and celebrates decorative motifs from different cultures, places and periods in history, is one of a triptych series. Each vessel plays with an individual motif and movement of colour across a surface. The surface of this piece is intricately decorated with numerous tile-like shapes, coloured in yellow, green and white.

Diameter 22 cm
Height 10 cm

Frances Priest Ceramicist
Photo: © Shannon Tofts Photography
Vessel and plinth | Grammar of Ornament – India I

This vessel, set on a symmetrically patterned tile, is from a collection of works based on various sections of the Victorian pattern book The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, which Frances read avidly as a child. The minutely glaze-painted patterns come from the India section of the book.

Diameter 15 cm
Height 7 cm

Frances Priest Ceramicist
Photo: © Shannon Tofts Photography
Vessel and plinth | Grammar of Ornament – India IV

This vessel, set on a plinth of patterned tiles, is from a collection of works based on various sections of the Victorian pattern book The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, which Frances read avidly as a child. The minutely glaze-painted patterns come from the India section of the book.

Diameter 15 cm
Height 7 cm

Frances Priest Ceramicist

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