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Contemporary craft work, by Bob Crooks, Stephen Dickinson and Junko Mori


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About the artwork

Bob Crooks - Glass Vase

Bob Crooks is recognised as one of Britain’s leading glassmakers. He is renowned for the high quality, skilfully executed dynamic forms and surfaces he has been producing over the last twelve years, continuously thinking of original and challenging ideas. His work has been exhibited at International level and in noted exhibitions in Italy, China, Scandinavia, Australia and the USA, alongside many exhibitions at home in the UK.

Each piece is designed, handmade and finished by Bob. The forms and surfaces achieved are created without the use of moulds. His work is inspired by geometry, architecture, the natural and Man-made worlds we live in as well as the qualities and capabilities of the glass itself. Through the variety of his work, Bob exploits the many properties of the material using refraction or reflection; sharpness or softness, transparency or opacity, working with the fluidity of the glass and ‘freezing’ it as the desired form is realised.

Bob consciously develops works that are, because of the nature of glass and the different applications used, one-offs. It is not possible to make two pieces identical. These unique pieces have now escalated in size, creating more dramatic statements. Although on a larger scale, closer inspection reveals more intricacies within the works. The resultant objects demonstrate a masterly love of the glass with attention to fine detail.

Stephen Dixon – Lidded Vessel

Stephen Dixon studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Ceramics at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1986. Early exhibitions in London with Contemporary Applied Arts and the Crafts Council established a reputation for ceramics with a biting political and social satire.  His figurative vessels were introduced to American audiences in the early nineties, resulting in solo exhibitions at Pro-Art, St. Louis (1993) Garth Clark Gallery, New York (1995) and Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York (1998).

His work features in numerous public and private collections, including the British Council, the Crafts Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Museum of Scotland, and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Dixon combines his studio ceramic practice with regular forays into public and community arts; in 2000 he received an Arts Council Year of the Artist award for ‘Asylum’, a collaborative project with Amnesty International U.K. and Kosovan refugees.

He is currently employed as Senior Research Fellow in Contemporary Crafts at MMU Cheshire, investigating the contemporary printed image in ceramics. Specific research interests include the British satirical tradition (in both printmaking and ceramics), commemorative wares and ‘pop’ culture, and the development of socio-political narratives in contemporary ceramics.

Junko Mori – Organism 66

Junko Mori is a Japanese metal smith based in Manchester.  Junko is inspired by the visual impact of an aggregate assembled from many parts.  She finds infinite possibilities of the form when multiplied beyond the physical space.

Junko forges thousands of mild steel or fine silver pieces by hand hammering, meaning that no piece is individually planned but becomes fully formed throughout the creative process.  She has recently started to make larger outdoor sculptures.