top of page

Elizabeth Turrell

Gaze 2021

Memory Bowls: Line, text and shadow


These bowls are functional but also explore the boundary of function by looking at the articulation between the inner and outer spaces of the form. The interior is accessible when viewed from above by linking the rhythms of the interior and exterior.


Writing and words especially when the meaning is all but lost, overwritten as time passes.

An indecipherable meaning or memory, perhaps all that remains, a tantalising fragment that may be indistinct, traces that add to the mystery of what remains - perhaps a long forgotten message? These are starting points.


Working on these bowls is an opportunity to continue the use of a restricted monochrome palette. It probably seems somewhat contrary to ignore the sumptuous colours of enamels but often the seductiveness of colour can overpower intention. Vitreous enamel gives a range of surface and line that cannot be achieved in any other media.


The rhythms of the drawing process play an important part in the development of work.

Elizabeth enjoys the process of drawing through the soft unfired enamel to the hard metal surface below. Making marks is pleasurable and engaging and can produce a hypnotic and rhythmic sound that varies depending on the tool used.


A bowl may be fired many times, much of the enamel process is about layering. As layers of enamel and drawing are added, there is a correlation between the order of process for making and the layers of creative experience. It is hoped these visual layers of the work draw the viewer to search the surface for clues and hidden layers of meaning. Little is revealed immediately. A cryptic message may evoke a trace of human presence.


The making is as important as the finished piece, it can be either a beginning or a continuation of a theme or idea. Materials and process are a significant part in the thinking and making of the work.  


After the final firing the glossy surface of the enamel is removed by abrading to produce a surface resembling eggshell, beach pebbles or unglazed porcelain. This surface allowing the subtleties to be more visible, giving a tactile, sensuous finish inviting the viewer to touch.

A bowl can entice us to cradle it in our hands with a reminder that this shape has existed in various form for at least 8,000 years - from a simple functional vessel to an individually object of symbol or ritual.

Click images for details and

if you are interested in any of Elizabeth Turrell's

work please enquire below.

bottom of page