Laurance Simon’s early life in France and her travels in East Africa and India contribute to a wealth of cross-cultural references in her work.
The shape of her vessels can suggest Greek Urns or French Bonbonnières, brought to life with adornments of shells, glass mosaic and zoomorphic figures; amorous doves, kindly hares, or acrobatic dogs.
Her pieces are hand built from red earthenware, then coloured with subtly painted and sponged slips and matt glazes, which contrast with areas of exposed red clay. Her mosaic mirrors consist of small ceramic pieces, which are all handmade and hand painted. The white mosaic squares are cut into small pieces and assembled piece by piece. Each mirror is unique and takes up to a month to finish.
Laurance has exhibited widely in Britain and Europe and her work can be found in many private collections, as well as in the V&A Museum.
“All my work is built using red or white earthenware. I have been working and exhibiting in London and abroad for the last twenty years. I mostly let the clay dictate what I will do next; it may be a vessel or a sculpture, but the common thread is a love of nature and the animal kingdom. I still marvel at the willingness of clay to be anything you want it to be, so I try to keep alive the enjoyment of building, carving and modelling. Animals have a large place in my work; they are playful, whimsical and humorous; pigs have red heels, lemurs have party hats. It’s a whole lively menagerie that keeps me amused and hopefully the public too. I enjoy the challenge of constructing pieces with a delicate sense of balance, creating a fragile equilibrium for an earthbound material. Recently I have been working on a collection of candelabras and it’s a renewed source of interest to depict the natural world but with a twist. At the end of the day, I make work for my own pleasure and if I can offer this to others, then it is all the more rewarding.”