Keith Varney English


'My handbuilt, folded and constructed objects explore form, line, texture and shade. The interplay of changing light and the viewer’s perspective give rise to a shift in perception of the forms; their translucent nature allows the interiors to reflect a sense of luminosity.


'Porcelain is a challenging material to work with but the qualities of its surface, its translucency and almost ethereal nature when used in eggshell thin sheets has driven me to investigate its wide potential. By combining elements of slip casting, hand building and origami, I have developed a technique that produces distinctive sculptural objects.


'I work intensively and methodically, absorbed in processes on the very edge of the material possibilities of porcelain. The objects are then fired almost to the point of melting. This carries some risk but produces a seductive and organic movement of the forms as they are affected by the intense heat.'


Following a successful career as a furniture designer and maker, Keith returned to education in 2005. After achieving a triple distinction in Design Crafts at City of Bath College, he went on to gain a first class BA (Hons) 3D Design: Ceramics, from Bath School of Art and Design.


In 2011, Keith established his studio and developed his practice while working part time as a technician and tutor in the Department of Art and Design at City of Bath College. In 2013 he was selected for the Crafts Council – ‘Hothouse’ emerging maker development programme, and was mentored by Carina Ciscato and Sasha Wardell (both represented by the Porthminster Gallery), whose help and guidance were invaluable.


Keith Varney is a professional member of the Craft Potters Association and is represented by the Contemporay Ceramics Centre, London and the Porthminster Gallery, St Ives. He has  exhibited at Ceramic Art London, and received the award for 'Best Ceramics' at the Contemporary Craft Festival 2013. Also in that year he took part in 'Exploring Spode' research residency at the British Ceramics Biennial.