Catherine Ash: Self-taught in the art of ceramics

Catherine Ash, the young ceramist working behind Ash Ceramics, brings her training as a sculptor into the delicate art of ceramics.

Catherine Ash designs and creates ceramic pieces that are both decorative and useful. Trained as a sculptor, she creates small, fun tableware items such as bowls and plates, as well as the bigger sculptural pieces such as her giant tortoise shells for her brand Ash Ceramics. 

Ash’s limited-edition ceramics pieces possess a quaint hand-made aesthetic.

“I try to consider each piece as a sculptural object,” she says. “If I spend a lot of time creating one piece: painting it correctly, sculpting it, hand building it, I think it shows in the work.”

Ash believes that being a self-taught ceramicist has made her work unique: “I think being self-taught has helped me learn about things my own way, experiment with different materials in the medium and avoid being forced into little boxes. 

I was able to take the materials and develop them in my own way without people coming in and saying: ‘You’re doing it wrong!’ The experimentation process was helpful in to the development of my range.

Cape Town has been a big influence on Ash’s work: “Its such a vibrant colourful city that has stayed contemporary.”

Her current range of ceramics maintains her signature geometric patterns with Ash moving away from multichromatic tones to focus her attention on blue hues and large-scale ceramic wall installations.