Antonia Salmon British, b. 1959


"I make strong abstract forms that reflect qualities of being: of chaos and order, of holding and letting go, of stillness and dynamism. Some works represent bridging moments of time, other works capture experiences of being in nature: listening to sounds of wind, water or silence; walking through landscape; touching rock and moss."

For over 25 years Antonia has made ceramic sculpture, experimenting with different stoneware clays, burnished and smoke fired surfaces. Inspired by large landscapes, small organic forms, Classical and 20th Century sculpture, and prehistoric artefacts, Antonia has always been concerned with the search for pure strong forms that reflect certain qualities of being. This may be exploring a form that reflects the feeling of holding or the sense of both centredness and dynamism within one abstract form. Some works explore the nature of bridging moments in time. There is the wish that each work may stand as if poised in space, providing a contemplative, enduring and uplifting quality, and inviting the viewer to reach out and touch.


There is always a tension between finding clarity of line and geometry in the finished forms, with the random surface markings generated from the smoke firing process. The making process starts with a burst of intense creative flow and is followed by months of honing the form to a resolution where it may sit with poise. The making methods are varied: throwing and altering, hand modelling, coiling or construction from slabs. There is a natural rhythm in the transformation from soft clay to the finished hollow forms. Each work is also hand burnished, smoke fired several times and finally wax polished – it is an intimate and patient process.


After studying Geography at Sheffield University she trained at Harrow School of Art in Studio Pottery, a year spent studying in the Middle East and India made a deep impression on her approach to work and, soon after her return to England in 1984, the first workshop was set up in Barbican, London. By 1989, in search of a life nearer open countryside she moved to Sheffield from where she shows her work internationally, running master classes and bringing up a family.


Antonia Salmon is on the Crafts Council Index of Selected Makers, and Fellow of the Craft Potters Association. Her work is exhibited in public and private collections in UK, USA, Japan and Europe.