Fred's work is a unique approach to ceramics. Firstly he scours the banks of the Thames in London for reclaimed items to include within his works. Secondly he works the fired product in the same way stone sculptors do, giving a finish that has the appearance of stone. Here at Bils & Rye, we are just a little excited to be able to offer these although parting with them may well be difficult!
Fred gives us a little insight into his ability to push boundaries and his motivations behind his work:
"Within each piece, I strive to achieve a balance of form, scale, structure and texture, producing work that has an understated visual richness set against a feeling of quiet simplicity.
I have developed specialist polishing tools and techniques that enable high fired ceramic bodies to be highly polished, giving the smooth finish of fine marble".
Our take is that Fred's work is some of the finest we have ever seen and his attention to detail, approach to his subject and the tactility of the finished work is simply fantastic. So good, we have some in our collection!
Q & A with the artist:
1. How old are you?
I am 57 but often feel much older, though Lizzie reckons I act much, much, much younger. I don't know what she means.
2. Where did you train?
I trained initially in Bristol at the Poly and was taught by great people, Mo Jupp and Wally Keeler are perhaps the best known. Wally is arguably one of the nicest blokes I ever met! I am still learning.
3. What inspired you to become an artist?
Being from Warrington in the early 70s art school was an escape plan! It was either that, the local wire-works or the army.
4. What is Art?
Now, for this we need a dinner party, several good friends who know about art, about 5hrs to spare, almost too much wine and we'd still be none the wiser!
5. If you weren't an artist what would you be?
Probably a comedy writer (in my dreams)
6. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
As for travelling back in time I would say to a young Fred, 'travel to the US, find that unknown kid Bill Gates and loan him whatever he needs to get started'. That's a start anyhow.
7. Tell me three things not many people know about you.
1) I had a serious hand injury many years ago and have missing finger tips on some fingers of my left hand, not good for a potter.
2) I would love to speak French I am slowly doing nothing about this
3) likewise with dancing, thank you Strictly.
8. If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
As for a super-power. It would either be time-travel (see the Bill Gates idea on that one) or flying. In my dreams I often soar like superman, though wearing my pants like him in normal time does get me some strange stares on the tube.