KOPJAS – A potter who draws inspiration from
the Pembrokeshire sea and landscape, Salvador Dali… and… Monty
Python! Born in 1963 Craig grew up and first gained an interest in
ceramics in Derby a city close to the English potteries of Staffordshire.
From an early age he had an interest in pottery and he left school to
study the subject at college where his work gained a high degree of popularity,
not least for the fact that he bypassed some of the more traditional
techniques to experiment with glazes and throwing, producing, over the
course of some ten years, a unique and distinctive style.
He moved to the county of Pembrokeshire, West Wales because he felt an
immediate empathy with the natural beauty of the area. A rugged coastline
with an abundance of rock formations and pools combined with the inland
gritty rawness of hills and moorland provided Craig with a rich vista
of images that he so brilliantly incorporates in his work.
Never one for conformity, Craig Kopjas, son of a Polish Father and Yorkshire
Mother, takes some of his inspiration from the colour, imagery, style
and format of a disparate group of artists such as Dali, Lucy Rie, Hans
Coper, David Bowie and, amazingly, the Monty Python series (reflecting
an irreverence for normality).
The focus on Celtic imagery blends well in his work, dragons, sun symbols
and earth colours abound making him a popular artist with galleries in
Ireland, Mainland Europe, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.
THE MAKING PROCESS.
I use a stoneware clay for throwing, it is fired to 1250 degrees
, I then use my own glaze formulas which have taken years to get
right, my throwing process is unique in that it involves using a
torch which is a kin to controlling a fiery dragon with a flame
nearly 12 inches long. Then using the heat to dry out the clay,
I can make forms which normally can not be achieved by throwing,
I start by throwing a vase and pulling it out until it is just going
to drop and then I dry it and repeat until the plate is horizontal.
I hope you enjoy my work as much as I do