Moyra Stewart has worked in clay for more than forty years after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1979. Her work has been exhibited across the UK, in Canada and Japan, and in 2015 she was awarded Craft & Design Maker of the Year prize.
While living in Canada for 20 years she taught, and was involved in, many community projects and residencies, particularly with children. Returning to Scotland in 1999 she co-founded the Steeple Arts Co-Op which in partnership with WASPS became the “The Steeple” studios and community arts facility in the old courthouse Newburgh, Fife. She now works from her home studio in Auchtermuchty.
Primarily a hand builder, Moyra also uses slab and press moulding techniques to reproduce her oval sculptural vessels. She has perfected a multi-layered Naked Raku technique that resembles Gneiss, an ancient rock found in the west coast of Scotland – the timeless solidity of this pattern seems to be more an integral part of the piece than just a decorative surface.
“My relationship with Nature is a deeply felt, enduring connection. Throughout my life I have found solace and comfort in wild places, retreating to forests, mountains, and beaches when daily life has become overwhelming. What I make is my response to the challenges in life, the personal journey that is taking place at a deep level in all of us. My work emulates aspects of the natural world, where nothing is perfectly round. I work using ovals, where curves move and there is a careful asymmetry. As it is with things that grow, where their shape responds to the prevailing wind and its relation to location, so my shapes evolve organically.” – Moyra Stewart
Portrait by Shannon Tofts