Trevor JJ Vincent is fascinated by the range of expressions and character in many of the animals that share our lives. He creates ceramic animals with attitude and is based in Cambridge.
JJ is a self-taught artist. All of his work is individually hand-built, using a slab roller and extruder. For the occasional repetitive or purely functional components he makes a press mould. He uses stoneware crank clays and paperclays which are stained with various oxides and decorated with coloured porcelain slips. The work is then glaze fired in either stoneware or raku kiln. JJ prefers to blend his own glazes from endless recipe books or internet sources. He says “this gives me a closer understanding of how the materials work and how I can adapt them for special effects.” JJ is not restrictive on glazes as he prefers to allow himself total freedom to make animals as realistic or fanciful as he feels on a given day.
JJ initially thought that focusing on the animal kingdom might be a bit restricting, but if you include plankton and killer whales, not to mention occasional invented beasts, we think there is definitely enough to keep him busy. His creative output includes orangutans, meerkats, big cats and dodos; closer to home are cows, pigs, sheep and his very characteristic hares. JJ’s favourite aspect of the making process is sculpting the heads and faces of each and every little beast. His aim is to put at least a little bit of expression and individuality into all of his work. He says “If I did not keep to the discipline of waiting until the last moment to model the face, I would end up making nothing but a series of heads!”
JJ states: “I am fascinated by the fact that we can take the stuff that is lying about in, on and under the ground and with a bit of imagination, produce something that has the potential of recording our feelings and responses to the world around us for many years to come.”