Russell Hackney Ceramics

My grandfather and my father both worked all of their lives in the ceramics industry of Stoke-on-Trent, England where I was born. My father worked as a modeller and mould maker at various factories including Portmeirion - before teaching mouldmaking and also starting his own company - Brunswick Ceramic Services - in 1974.

I entered the family business at age 16 and began modelling shapes and in particular - embossment designs for all kinds of clients, from large hotel and tableware factories to small design firms, artists and potters. My most notable work was modelling a reproduction 18th Century clock for Her Majesty the Queen, which incorporated Classical figures and was presented to her in 1999. Though these projects were interesting given the precise craftsmanship involved, I always wanted more opportunities to pursue my own projects.

I took 3 years out from the family business for my fine arts ceramics degree and after 15 years working in the ceramic industry in Stoke I moved to Canada with my wife for adventure and to expand my personal artistic freedom.

Over the past 14 years working at my studio in Vancouver (& now Bowen Island also) I have worked consistently - designing, modelling and making my own work as well as offering a service to the ‘clay community’. I have very much come to appreciate the skills that I learned from my father and the new found freedom that Canada has given me to explore my own personal art.

For my new collection which I call my Cabin Vibe series
 I wanted to design a simple, clean, well proportioned functional range of pieces that would have a ‘relaxed elegance’. Pieces that I imagine on summer decks at a weekend cabin, or the homes of my Bowen Island community. The colours would reflect this place: the oyster grey of weathered decks and outdoor chairs; the pale blue of summer skies; the deep greeny/blue of the ocean; the taupe colour of the sand.

The half dipped glaze - where the white glaze meets the raw porcelain - reminiscent of shoreline, tidelines.
I am drawn to simplicity of design and have a strong desire for ergonometric pieces which function well.