Gwen Bainbridge is a ceramicist based in Penrith. Her pots, jugs and vases have that wonderful decorative element that i love, coupled with a little quirkiness and a fine balance. Gwen also produces jewellery
“My work is not just to be looked at, although I like my work to be explored in order to discover every little detail. I love the way the Porcelain and Bone China are so readily warmed by the human touch, so that using them is yet another sensory journey.
I see my work as a three-dimensional scrap-book coming from both memories of my childhood and from my response to the experiences brought about through research in books, rummaging through bric a brac, antique fairs, old photographs and magazines. I’m always on the lookout for items that I might use in my work, both for inspiration and for direct practical use. I’m drawn to decorative items. Even as a child I had favourite buttons from my mum’s button box that I played with. There were some beautiful green glass dishes that were brought out for parties and the best china laid out when the minister was coming for tea. These are very strong memories for me. But alongside this finery there was the informal, natural world of my surroundings living on a rural farm in Cumbria. The hedgerows where we found birds nests with the treasured little eggs of wild birds, which we watched until they hatched and finally fledged. "