Masters of their Material:

Ceramicists Matthew Chambers and Susan O’Byrne

1 – 24 September 2016

Contemporary Applied Arts is delighted to present two ceramicists working in very different idioms for London Design Festival 2016: Matthew Chambers and Susan O’Byrne. Both are Masters of their Material who work in inventive, highly individualist ways and the contrast in the work on display will illuminate the great richness in studio ceramic production today.

Matthew Chambers

Matthew Chambers’ focus is on the repetition of pattern: he creates sculptural forms that hold repeating shapes and patterns within a single form. The repetition in each piece holds a true and honest rhythm and beauty. His sculptural pieces have a visual rhythm which is wholly conscious and purposefully created, achieved by using the placement of each repeat form layered inside another. The result of this controlled and precise process is a beautiful and also powerful harmony of form and pattern. Chambers was awarded an M.A. Ceramics and Glass, Royal College of Art, London in 2004. Click here for further information.

Susan O'Byrne

Susan O’Byrne’s approach to ceramics is figurative, in contrast to Chambers’ sculptural work. She aims to give her ceramic animals a certain awkward vulnerability and they are also a vehicle for the expression of human emotions. This is achieved through a very personal making process: she makes a wire framework onto which layers of printed and patterned pieces of porcelain paper clay are applied to form a skin. The natural twists and kinks of the wire frame and the shrinkage of the clay around it during firing are allowed to dictate the posture of the finished animal. The element of chance in these processes is central to her work. O’Byrne earned a First Class Honours Degree in Design and Applied Art, Post Graduate in Ceramics in 1999 and an MA in ceramics in 2002, both from Edinburgh College of Art. Click here for further information.

Special Event: Meet the Makers

Wednesday 21 September 3 – 5pm

Join us at the gallery to meet ‘Masters of their Material’ ceramicists Matthew Chambers and Susan O’Byrne. See our exhibition and find out the inspiration and techniques behind their work. Light refreshments will be served. 

This event is free but booking is recommended, email

From 17-25 September 2016 over 400 events and installations will take place as part of the London Design Festival. From an engaging programme at the Victoria and Albert Museum to large scale installations in public spaces across the city, these interventions reflect the stimulating diversity of creative thinking, and are all united in their ability to inspire, entertain and arouse curiosity. Click on the logo to find out more. #LDF16



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