I am a member of the vibrant Fireworks Clay Studios cooperative located in Cardiff city centre. I joined in 2007 and from 2008 to 2013 held the position of Chair and am currently one of the Directors. I am a Selected Member of the Craft Potters Association and was elected to its Governing Council in 2018. I studied ceramics to post graduate level and exhibit and deliver workshops and talks across the UK and internationally. I have been the recipient of numerous funding awards from the Arts Council of Wales.
My hand-built sculptural vessels are inspired by our interconnectedness with nature’s seasons and cycles. It is the correlation between the slower emerging cycles of nature and the making processes which harness innate material qualities leading to alchemical developments within the kiln that underpins my work.
I am drawn to the vessel as a great symbol of civilisation and one that echoes the built environment in which I live. In contrast, naturally occurring textures found within both urban and rural environments perpetually interact and alter this sense of order. Surfaces undergo energetic change and transformation through forces of growth and decay, and it is these events; the evidence of lived moments which can be seen as life affirming.
Such textures can be rendered through volatile and blistering glazes and my relationship with clay and glaze materials is fundamental and profound, rooted within the challenge of rendering emotional expression through their innate qualities. The tension between the orderly, symmetrical handmade forms and glaze phenomena in my work, further brings in to focus aspects of the human condition.
The vessels are formed using two techniques. Press-moulding enables me to quickly form the base whilst coiling is a slower, more meditative approach allowing flexibility and a different approach to control over the vessel shape and size as it develops. Certain marks and textures revealing the making process remain as a ground for the glazing.
My approach to my practice embraces contrasts of control and chance within the glazing process. This can be seen within my treatment of the surface which renders evidence of intentional brush marks and chemical reactions of the glaze. The surface is built up and transformed through the brushed application of multiple layers of slips and glazes – generally six glazes and two slips are used on each piece. The pressure, direction and speed of the brush connecting with the vessel’s surface determines only some of the outcome. The surface develops in a partnership between me, the materials and process. Layers simultaneously build and crumble under the application of further layers. The process begins to reveal its own language, determined in part, by chance.
Once applied the glaze materials are set to react within the conditions of the oxidised firing process. Here the inclusion of selective volatile materials brings further disruption to the surface through blistering, cratering and crawling.
Glazing and firing processes are repeated until the optimum depth and complexity of surface appears.
In December 2014 Richard and Arron from R&A Collaborations visited my studio to film me at work. The resulting film Order and Chaos demonstrates my making processes and reveals my glazing techniques whilst I talk about my approach to my work.
2020 – 2022 – Flux and Poise, a touring solo exhibition resulting from the Arts Council of Wales funded project, Material Matters – interrupted and postponed by Covid-19 lockdown.
2020 – Paul Wearing ceramics, Christopher Prout paintings, Bircham Gallery.
2020 – Stoneware Exhibition, Clay College, Stoke on Trent.
2020 – Counterpoint, Sladers Yard, Bridport.
2019 – Art of Wales, Oita, Japan.
2019 – David Tress painting, Paul Wearing Ceramics, The Albany Gallery.
2019 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park, showcase.
2018 – Gifted 2018, Contemporary Ceramics Centre.
2018 – Christmas 2018, The Crafts Centre & Design Gallery, Leeds.
2018 – Cadence, Kellie Miller Arts.
2018 – Relic, Bluecoat Display Centre.
2018 – Jus de Ceramique, Keramiekcentrum Tiendschuur Tegelen, Netherlands.
2018 – Lasting Impressions, National Craft & Design Gallery, Kilkenny and Ruthin Craft Centre.
2018 – Mud & Water, Studio Eleven.
2018 – Journey, The Stratford Gallery.
2018 – Virginia Ray and Paul Wearing. New Ashgate Gallery.
2018 – Mission Gallery, showcase.
2017 – Tangibles: New work by Martin Pearce, Paul Wearing and Rachel Wood. Contemporary Ceramics Centre.
2017 – Y Lle Celf, The National Eisteddfod of Wales, Anglesey.
2017 – Chris Prout – Painting and Paul Wearing – Ceramics, The Albany Gallery.
2017 – Centre of Ceramic Art, York, showcase.
2017 – Clay 24, Tim Andrews Gallery, Woodbury
2017 – Bakers Dozen, Round House Gallery, Foston
2016 – Gifted 2016, Contemporary Ceramics Centre.
2016 – Centre of Ceramic Art, York, showcase.
2016 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park, showcase.
2016 – Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, showcase.
2016 – Clay 22, Tim Andres Gallery, Woodbury.
2016 – Winter, Kellie Miller Arts, Brighton.
Fairs in recent years:
Art in Action
Art in Clay Farnam
Art in Clay, Hatfield
Ceramic Art London
Ceramic Art York
Ceramics in the City
Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey
Earth & Fire
Grassi Messe, Leipzig
Oxford Ceramics Fair
Potfest in the Park
York Ceramics Fair
AWARDS AND PRIZES
2019 – Arts Council of Wales, Large Production Grant for creative professionals
2017 – Arts Council of Wales, Production Grant for creative professionals
2014 – Arts Council of Wales, Project Grant for individuals
2002 – Welsh Artist of the Year, Craft Section Prize Winner, Cardiff
2001 – Arts Council of Wales, Setting Up Grant for Craftspeople
2021 – Elemental Relationships. Jones, C. Ceramic Review, Issue 308, March/April 2021.
2020 – Special Effect Glazes. Bloomfield, L.
2017 – Surface Decoration. Millward, K.
2015 – Post-war to Post Modern: A Dictionary of Artists in Wales. Jones, P. W. and Hitchman, I.
2015 – British Studio Potters’ Marks (3rd Ed. Ed. Hazelwood, J.) Yates-Owen, E. & Fournier, R.
2005 – British Studio Potters’ Marks (2nd Ed.). Yates-Owen, E. and Fournier, R.
2003 – Form: Contemporary Craft in Wales. Wales Arts International.
RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY
2018 – Elected Member, Governing Council, Craft Potters Association
2016 – Selected Member, Craft Potters Association
2016- Co-Director, Fireworks Clay Studios, Cardiff
2014 – Selector for Axisweb MAstars programme
2011 – Co-selector, ‘It’s what’s on the outside that matters’, Newport Gallery & Museum
2008-13 – Chair & Director, Fireworks Clay Studios, Cardiff
2007 – Member, Fireworks Clay Studios, Cardiff
2000-03 – Co-founder Elements Studio and Gallery, Cardiff
2003-04 – MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
1997-2000 – BA (Hons) Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff