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 manufacturers 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.

Many things inspire me, I react to life! I react to my own work. Currently I feel that literature, the urban environment, even an evocative comment that I might hear on the radio - propels me into work most of all. Previously it was nature, completely. I am drawn to simple, bold graphic design and font work. Who knows where next.