When I was at art school in the late sixties I wrote my final paper thesis on the relationship between natural forms and clay. But it is only since 1978 when I moved to Wales to live that I have developed ideas in my work related directly to where I live.
I live between Conwy and Llandudno and have the benefit of being near to Snowdonia and the mountains. I also live near the river estuary of Conwy and spend a great deal of time, when I have it, on Deganwy beach.
My current work is influenced by the sea, seaweed, stones with holes in, bones, driftwood, barnacles on rocks and the tidal system. Marks left in the sand, water currents, whirlpools and much more. The work is made using flattened coils of clay into which other materials are added to change the surface texture. Various sands are used to change the surface. The work is pushed and pinched causing craters and holes.
The work is bisque fired in an electric kiln to 980degrees C and glaze fired in a gas kiln to 1300degrees C. A barium glaze is used with various oxide washes underneath to create colour. The work has a strong tactile quality, as does the natural world.
I don't wish to imitate nature but aspire to echo the process of nature.
Statement by Emmanuel Cooper
The Ceramics of Beverley Bell-
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin -
"Nature and nurture are intrinsic qualities in the ceramic forms of Beverley BellHughes. Her forms are pushed and pulled, squeezed and eased into shapes reminiscent of natural objects and patterns, be they shells, seaweed, stones or the ripples left by the receding tide on a sandy beach. But it is not the references to nature which immediately sprig to mind, but the great desire to touch, to handle the pieces, to explore their surface, to ferret out their corners and discern how the maker has nurtured the piece, fashioned it into her own".
Emmanuel Cooper 1997.