ArtHouse Gallery: Mervyn Thomas
Venue: ArtHouse Gallery
Dates: 07/01/2020 - 01/02/2020
Times: 10:00 - 15:00
POTTERY WITHOUT THE TEARS
Sharing Southport Contemporary Art’s spotlight this month, as joint Artists of the Month, alongside Neil Prior (https://www.artinliverpool.com/events/southport-contemporary-arts-neil-prior/), is Mervyn Thomas with his own personal take on ceramic art, currently on display at the ArtHouse in Eastbank Street until the end of January.
Mervyn is SCA’s answer to Channel 4’s “Great Pottery Thrown Down” judge, Keith Brymer Jones, but without the tears, and is well known in Southport for his porcelain bowls and glazed porcelain jewellery.
Mostly self-taught, Mervyn was been working with clay since he studied pottery at school in the 1960’s, but went on to pursue a different career before returning to ceramics following his retirement. The natural environment is an inspirational springboard into his unique artisan creations.
“As the son of a gardener, and former student of agriculture, my interest in nature has always influenced my ceramics.”
Other sources of inventiveness embrace 18th century agateware and 20th century Japanese art potters.
“Recently I have been strongly influenced by the Japanese potters, Shoji Hamada and Takeshi Yasud,a and have started making heavily torn and distorted porcelain vessels.”
The clay automatically knows it is in safe hands when Mervyn starts to shape it on the wheel. There is an honesty as Mervyn confidently coaxes the clay that only comes through patience, time and experience.
He always allows the wet clay to do its own thing. He doesn’t force it into submission but allows it to express its form naturally and to take shape organically. This is the sign of an artist at one with their media.
“ Although I enjoy throwing on the wheel when making my bowls, I also use the Venetian millefiore technique to combine various colours of porcelain to make earrings where the colour goes all the way through.”
A selection of Mervyn’s hand crafted ceramics can currently be viewed from 7th January – 1st February at SCA/ArtHouse, 65 Eastbank Street (Tues thro Fri 10.00 – 15.00 and Sat 11.00 – 16.00).
As a proud “sandgrounder”, Mervyn is pleased to acknowledge that “all of my work is made in Southport, less than a mile from The Atkinson.”