ARTIST: JOANNA CONSTANTINIDIS

(1927- 2000)

Joanna Constantinidis was born in York and trained at Sheffield College of Art. In 1951 she became a lecturer in Ceramics at Chelmsford Technical College and School of Art, and taught there for nearly 40 years. In 1978 she was awarded the Medal of Honour at the international exhibition of ceramic art in Faenza.

In 1989 she took early retirement in order to devote herself to producing ceramics full-time. By this time her work was internationally recognised and her pieces were being shown in the United States, Belgium, Germany and Italy as well as in the United Kingdom.

Her work was influenced by British history, drawing inspiration from medieval pottery, Staffordshire slipware, salt glaze and early industry pottery. Another influence was modern and ancient Greece, with much of her work being subtly lustred suggesting sun-bronzed metal and the minimalist shapes. The most important element of any of her pots is the form, and the life and energy shown by it. All her pots are thrown, though often altered considerably afterwards, and she began each pot with a clear mental image of how it would look when finished.

Her work is represented in major collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London