Hilary Mayo creates delicate hand built vessels that display understated surface decoration inspired by landscapes, both rural and urban. Working from photographs, memory and observed detail, Hilary has a great many influences including the closure of the Spode factory in Stoke on Trent, and Icelandic landscapes.
Responding to ideas in the abstract, often by constructing sculptural vessels with finely rolled slabs of stoneware clay, Hilary subtly manipulates her pieces to lend fluidity to the forms. By creating a canvas to build upon, she layers glaze with brushstrokes, with a hall-mark dribble of glaze to complete each piece.
“The casual observer often enquires if my work is rusted metal, or stone, the appearance a consequence of the layers of glaze reacting with each other as the kiln works its alchemy.” – Hilary Mayo
Hilary’s first career was at the BBC, producing programmes, mainly for radio, but she continued to make whenever she could. This time allowed her to explore different approaches to making, absorbing ideas and enjoying a spell in the studio of the Japanese born, UK based, potter Yo Thom. Here she learnt to embrace the beauty of imperfection and to show the making, instilling the wabi sabi aesthetic.
In 2012 Hilary launched her career in ceramic art, after studying at City Lit, London, and graduating with a Diploma in Fine and Applied Art: Ceramics. In 2014 she was selected for the Crafts Council Hothouse programme and One Year On at New Designers. She has work in several private collections and has been exhibited in three solo shows – one at the renowned New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives.