Vhcle Magazine Issue 15, Art - Ceramics
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Tell us a little bit about yourself
 
I am a modern-day potter, an artist, maker, craftsman and designer. At the moment my work is predominantly made using the potter’s wheel - a process and a tool that as of yet I have not tired of. I am passionate about the fluidity of making, and I see the process of using the wheel as a tool for 3-dimensional drawing. I graduated with a Master’s in Applied Arts and prior to that I trained and worked as an apprentice focusing on refining and mastering the skills that I required in order to articulate my own ideas.
 
Currently I run a small studio in Belfast, Northern Ireland, creating a studio-based production range of hand thrown porcelain tableware - a range that consistently evolves and develops. At the same time I produce sculptural objects. More recently I have been designing a tableware range for an American company. I find the crossover between ideas and experimenting with materials and processes fascinating, and all of these elements tend to influence one another within my creative practice as a whole.
 
What is the inspiration behind your work?
 
My work tends to fluctuate between the functional and sculptural. I go through stages where I am purely interested in form, or the process of making and the challenges that arise from working with clay as a material. When working on sculptural pieces I am no longer interested in the function of the piece or how the object can be used - yet all of the work seems to evolve around elements of space and containment.
 
Many things inspire me every day - in particular my surroundings, the city that I live in, the industrial history and the architectural heritage.
 
I am also inspired by mid-century artists such as Ben Nicholson, particularly for his use of abstract form, colour, and his observation of surface and space. William Scott’s abstract interpretation of domestic objects, his use of scale, his simplicity of form, and many more abstract artists that fall into the minimalist and reductive categories and theories. I am also interested and inspired by early work produced by artists and designers under the Bauhaus, the Russian and British constructivist artists, and the vast and explosive array of experimentation and innovative production by designers, craftsmen, architects and artists during the festival of Britain.
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Derek Wilson's practice as a ceramicist centres on the making of a diverse range of contemporary objects – from the functional to the sculptural. He always starts with the same process, the potter’s wheel being his predominant tool, but his work is never static or fixed and in some ways reflects the multifarious identities of contemporary ceramics – a twenty-first century hybridization of studio potter and conceptual artist.
What do you think is the artist's role in society?
 
To observe, to create, and to provide a different perspective on the mundane. To view things differently, and to sometimes educate and challenge people’s perception.
 
What superpower would you want and why?

Teleporting. Mainly to be able to time travel and experience different eras and cultures.
 
Favorite drink?

A coffee in the morning to wake me up and on the odd evening a whiskey or an Armagnac to put me to sleep.