Even though ceramicist Romy Northover fell in love with ceramics in childhood, it wasn’t until much later that she returned to her passion.
After studying art at the prestigious Goldsmith’s college in London, she recalls feeling a bit stuck in her 20s: “I had a period where I didn’t really know how to make art anymore, outside of college or just in general.” But after moving to New York at the age of 30, she began thinking about ceramics again.
She returned to the studio, and her work took off. Now, Northover’s stunning ceramics are known for their traditional techniques combined with modern forms and colours – a style she calls “ancient future”. Ancient for the technique, and future because the work goes on: “A simple bowl can out-survive everyone,” she says.
Northover’s process for her Fractured collection is inspired by Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese technique of repairing broken pottery. Traditional Kintsugi pieces are broken unintentionally, but Northover deliberately breaks her bowls with a hammer.
“Each break is so beautiful and so unique and has this very organic quality – like a river or a landscape.”
After the break, Northover repairs the bowl using black putty.
“The idea behind Kintsugi is that something is more beautiful for having been broken, and having gone through this process,” Northover explains. “That really hit a chord with me – that something could be more valuable after having been destroyed.”
“If I’m not around clay for an extended amount of time, I don’t feel good, I don’t feel complete.”Romy Northover