Sophie MacCarthy

Sophie MacCarthy has always been drawn to random scatterings of leaves on the ground. Scatter and flow, rhythm and movement are consistent themes in the decoration of her earthenware pieces, along with a bold and joyous approach to colour.

Using a technique she has developed over the last 35 years, alongside stencils, wax resist, scraffito and sponging, Sophie delicately creates distinctive imagery on the surface of her wheel thrown vessels. By painting with coloured slips on to dry clay surfaces the liquid is quickly absorbed, which helps to create tonal depth with varying degrees of thickness.

“Sometimes I will see a beautiful arrangement of leaves and stalks blown against a kerb-side or around a drain grid. Sometimes I will marvel at leaves in a puddle with the blue sky reflected. Other motifs I use are birds and fish; birds because I love their silhouettes and fish, also for their silhouettes but also because of the way they express movement.” – Sophie MacCarthy