On a humid, stormy day in July 2009, I drove through a thunder storm and the flooded country roads of North Buckinghamshire to meet Lucinda Brown, ceramic artist and owner of the Lucinda Brown Gallery in the grounds of Claydon House, Middle Claydon, near Buckingham.
It is an idyllic setting and the gallery does not disappoint – it is welcoming and full of beautiful hand-crafted work, some by Lucinda herself and some by other artists and craftspeople – all gorgeous and just asking to be bought for that special someone – or indeed for yourself!
As we drank tea in her Kitchen, I asked Lucinda about her love of clay, her work and the future.
How would you best describe your craft? ‘My work is hand-built, with a focus on the figurative and textures. I love faces and I want to bring my sense of serenity into the work so other people can feel it too.’
When did you become interested in your craft? ‘On my Access to Art Course in 1994. When I first touched clay it excited me, and I knew I could sculpt faces in it, although I did find it frustrating to work with at first, I persevered and learnt how to achieve the results I wanted.
After my University course I was invited to join the Design Workers Foundation – this opportunity gave me a free Studio training in teaching, business studies and IT.’
What’s the most enjoyable? ‘To be honest, the most enjoyable part of my work is the interaction I have with the people who buy my work. Many of them write to me afterward, to tell me where they have placed my work in their homes – they all say lovely things and I appreciate them taking the time to do that.’
Where do you see your craft taking you in the next 10 years? With a determined smile, Lucinda tells me, ‘In ten years, I intend to be a world-class Ceramic Artist or Sculptor. That’s my aim. I love creating in clay and I want to carry on developing and growing.’
Who do you take your inspiration from? ‘My inspiration comes from many places, from nature and ancient sculptors and artists, Michelangelo, Rodin and Alfonse Mucha, also contemporaries like, Geoff Cox, Jenni Fairey and Christian Toublanc. I have collected many pieces over the years – some by unknown artists. I have one piece in particular, picked up in a flea market, of a young African girl – I only have to look at it to be inspired – she has lived everywhere with me.’
Is there another unconnected craft you would like to learn Why? ‘I’ve always wanted to learn to work in glass – I love to see glass – stained glass, pieces of coloured glass hanging in windows or sculptures.’
Lucinda sells her work to various galleries around the country. Locally, you can find Lucinda’s work either in her own Gallery, or in At Home Dot Com (Berkhamsted), Obsidian Art (Stoke Mandeville) and Ice Twice (Olney).
Contact Lucinda at the Lucinda Brown Gallery (1pm – 5pm, Saturday to Wednesday), Claydon House, Middle Claydon, Bucks. By phone on 01296 733894 or by email at Lucinda.firstname.lastname@example.org