From the sublime to the perilous - making pots in porcelain

Sunday 23 September | 2.30pm–3.30pm

In conversation with Kate Brindley, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at Chatsworth, Felicity Aylieff and Natasha Daintry discuss their practices as ceramicists. The very different – but equally extraordinary – results are exemplified in pieces now part of the Devonshire Collection and on display in the house: Chinese Ladders by Felicity Aylieff (Great Stairs Landing) and Sowing Colour by Natasha Daintry (the Dome Room).

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Extended bios

Felicity Aylieff

Felicity Aylieff is perhaps best known for her sculptural pots, which combine monumental scale and an expressive handling of surface decoration.

Chinese Ladders

The form and design of this pot, standing at over 3 metres, is intended as a reflection of the structure of bamboo scaffolding used by builders in China.

Made in collaboration with craftsmen in Jingdezhen, China, in a studio and workshop Felicity established there in 2006. The display of the pot at Chatsworth also serves as a contemporary take on the Baroque tradition of blue and white oriental porcelain on display in the State Apartment.

Felicity leads the Ceramics and Glass programme at the Royal College of Art. Her ceramics are held by a number of other collections and museums, including the V&A, London,;Museum of Wales, Cardiff; & Boston Museum of Fine Arts, USA .

Natasha Daintry

For Natasha Daintry, scale, movement and repetition are key elements in her work. She describes her thrown forms as “pared down and minimal” and her scattered cylinders as “tiny but intense, like Persian miniature paintings”. Colour is pivotal – as evidenced by Sowing Colour.  

Sowing Colour

Plant growth inspired this installation of 235 porcelain pots, for which Natasha developed over 150 glazes to create finely balanced pots cascading down eight layers radiating colour. Tiny pots at the top grow to near 1m in height at the base of the piece embodying Fibonacci’s mathematical sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13), both in the dimensions of the pots and the height of the space they inhabit.

After studying Japanese at the University of Cambridge, Natasha went to the Royal college of Art, where, some 15 years ago her tutors included Felicity Aylieff. Natasha’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK and in Europe and USA, in both group and solo exhibitions and is held in several British public collections.

Felicity Aylieff, Kate Brindley and Natasha Daintry
Felicity Aylieff, Kate Brindley and Natasha Daintry

Banner image: Sowing Colour, Natasha Daintry, 2018 and Chinese Ladders, Felicity Aylieff, 2012