Claire Lardner Burke

We visited Claire at her Peckham studio, The Kiln Rooms to learn more about Claire's story, inspiration and the processes behind her work.
Tell us a little of why you took up ceramics and your creative journey.
Before I discovered my passion for ceramics I had spent almost a decade travelling. I lived and worked across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. When I returned to London, where I was born, I worked for a charity called Rise Phoenix, which worked with disadvantaged children using art and play therapy. I had always been a "maker" and during my travels had made jewellery, clothes and hats. In 2008 I attended a ceramic course at the Putney School of Art. It was there I discovered my love of working with clay, and found the prefect medium to express my creativity. 
  What other artists and makers do you admire and why?
Lucie Rie's work has been a constant inspiration to me. Her work is inspired by nature and architecture. It has a refined delicacy that I truly admire and love.
What inspires your work?
I have long been fascinated by the process of time upon things. I love the beautiful marks and colours created by age and weathering, particularly on rocks and stone. In my work I seek to capture something of this quiet beauty.
Tell us a little bit about your process in making your pieces
When I first began working with clay I made small pinch pots for two years, on which I experimented continuously with textures, oxides, slips and glazes. Through this I made discoveries, found surprises and I loved the unpredictable beauty of the outcome. I now work on larger pieces that I throw on the wheel and I hand coil. This process creates delicate, light vessels using a 50/50 mixture of grogged stoneware and crank clay. When the pieces are leather hard, I carve into the surface to create rough textures which absorbs the glazes I then apply. I paint the pieces with oxides and glazes in multiple layers, often through multiple firings. Each piece is fired to between 1250 and 1260 degrees Celsius. My work in then surrendered to the kiln, accepting the unpredictably of the firing process and giving freedom to the glaze.

You work in a shared studio in Peckham. Tell us a little bit about it. 
In 2015 I moved to The Kiln Rooms in Peckham and I really enjoy the interaction, help and support of the other wonderful artists working in the space. The studio I work in is open-plan, light and airy. It's the perfect environment to channel my creativity.
How do you want people to feel about and experience your work?
I’m still very humbled that other people enjoy and want to own my work. My only wish is that people find joy in the work.
What's next?
I very much live in the present (with a nostalgic nod to the past). I’m not the kind of person that has a five year plan! This keeps me grounded and allows me to be fully immersed in my work. But I’ve made a promise to myself to spend more time in nature, which is of course my biggest source of inspiration. I will also aim to keep listening to that inner voice that guides me.