We take a look at Co. Down ceramist Rebecca Killen’s captivating work – which mixes a classic Chinese palette of blue and white with contemporary Nordic forms…
It’s easy to see both the contemporary and historical influence in Rebecca’s work, so it’s not surprising then that, after graduating in fine art from the University of Ulster, she spent some time with the venerable Fermanagh brand Belleek Pottery (established 1857) and later with the International Ceramics Research Centre in Denmark. Nowadays, she’s found creating these cylindrical containers in her studio in Newry.
Unlike many contemporary ceramists, Rebecca uses bone china, which is a luxury material that requires slip casting – an industrial process in which she pours liquid bone china into plaster moulds, giving her a greater level of control than throwing clay.
This collection is called Cobalt Vessels, after the colour pigment she used in their making, which can be traced as an ornamental feature back to Bronze Age glass, Egyptian sculpture and Persian jewellery. The varying shapes and sizes are designed to create a community of items that interact together, allowing the owner to decide how they want the pieces to interplay in their own home. We salute Rebecca for taking bone china into the 21st century, one vessel at a time.