MERYL TILL     (10 January 1965-12 July 2020)

Remembering Meryl with her own words: 'Discovering clay as a medium completely captivated me, the material itself, the process, and the transforming qualities. After many years of producing and exhibiting decorative, sculptural forms, my love of ceramics took another turn, introducing light. In 1999 I started to develop a range of porcelain lighting that utilises the translucent qualities of the porcelain clay body. The work has decorative textured surfaces that are impressed into the clay allowing the light to pass through in varied degrees. Further pierced work is done to the decoration that enables delicate patterned light to project onto the surroundings.

I have also produced lamps which incorporate glass into the clay, and pieces with fine copper wire embedded that oxidize through the firing. In later developments I layered coloured slips cut through with free hand designs to reveal the base white layer in order to allow light to pass through the sgraffito pattern. The Andalusian Collection was inspired by my love of the Moorish influence on this part of Spain. The work has a double embossed impression giving a deep quilted effect. It then has various glazes applied, rubbed back and left in the recesses.

In addition to lighting I make a variety of vases and vessels. They are glazed on the inside and the glaze rubbed into the pattern on the outside. Some use coloured slips and others I make using marbled clay. The Bristol collection shows hot air balloons over the city and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Another design is inspired by the stained glass panel in the chapel at the top of Christmas Steps. I made my work in the shop opposite the chapel for 17 years and this was part of my view for all that time. Once a year for Open Doors you could visit the chapel and the stained glass would magically come to life. So in homage I carved into plaster these images so I could create a porcelain relief that also comes to life with light. I love my bees and the Bee Collection have a bee transfer applied for the final firing. I also developed Snowflake decorations out of Parian clay which is a clay body that was developed to emulate marble.

I am continually fascinated by clay and love the excitement of unpacking the kiln. Then finally I have the joy of lighting up the piece and bringing it to life.'