1. What general skills & techniques do you use ?


My work is a combination of many different techniques, processes and skills.  Conceiving ideas, drawing and constructing very complex artworks from many different materials including clay.   I hand model images and artifacts in clay mainly porcelain , then cast them in plaster for reproduction in many different clays and firing temperatures  depending on application.  I work in 3D as well as wall mounted works, lighting and sculptural furniture.


Recycling has always played an important role in the work particularly ancient ceramic shards from the potteries  where I have been digging shards up for over 40 years.  Combining these artifacts with hand modelled images to create, which I call ‘Sculptural Archeological Paintings’.




Tell us about your experience and knowledge…


2. Where have you studied and learnt your skills ?


My first recollection of pottery was in about 1962 at my primary school, this is something that children of today, sadly, don’t always have the opportunity to experience.


My knowledge was acquired through a brilliant old school art college system. Starting with a Foundation course at Harrogate Art College from 1972 to 1974, then a degree in fine art sculpture from 1974 to 1977 at North staffs Polytechnic .  Afterwards I spent a brilliant year at Burslem College of Art before finally attending the Royal College of Art in London to complete an MA in fine art Ceramics.


3. Who has inspired you along the way ?


My tutors at the Royal College of Art, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and Sir Peter Blake had a profound influence on my early development as an artist.



4. Please explain your work process ?


My work and ideas are based on contemporary issues, like ecology, conservation, politics, world peace and love, anti-war sentiments, tolerance and a celebration of clay in all its remarkable and magical forms.


I use many different clays in my processes, porcelain, earthenwares, basalt, crank and grogged clays, Parian, T-Material  and heavy brick clays.  Most of these have been produced from clays made by Valentine Clays where the customer service and experience is the best !


My firing temperatures vary from lustre on glaze starting at 780°c, to biscuit firings of 1000°c to 1144°c, on stoneware and porcelain firing of 1230°c to 1280°c.



5. What has been your proudest piece that you have produced and why ?


My product range has been vast working on hundreds of community and education projects mainly in the West Midlands for the last 40 years.  I have worked with approx.  40,000 people mainly children, creating public artworks for schools, hospitals, health centres, universities, library’s , and community’s.   At the same time I have also produced my own work for private and public collections which is still an ongoing work in progress !




6. What are your future ambitions ?


My future ambitions and aspirations are to keep working for as long as my body and health allows, hopefully creating some strong work in the private and public domain in the future years.  At present I’m in negotiation to have a show in London and New York in 2014 as well as working on commissioned projects.

Visit their website: www.philhardaker.co.uk