Carolyn Genders talks about her new book ‘Pattern, Colour & Form, new approaches to creativity’.

As a maker, I have always been interested in surface and form and most of my work has been concerned with the relationship between them. For me, drawing from source and the development of design ideas in two dimensions, has always been fundamental to the making of three dimensional work.


Carolyn Genders. ‘Terracotta Hues’2009.
Hand built with burnished terrasigillita slip, 22cmw x 16d x 29h


Peter Layton. ‘Green Paradiso’ wide stoneform 2004

I was prompted to write ‘Sources of Inspiration’ by my experiences when teaching. Many students, often competent makers, seemed to lack ideas, resorting to using the work of other makers as the starting point for their own. I wanted to encourage the exploration of the creative process in greater depth. Over the years I have amassed an eclectic collection of photographic images, and some of these I presented to spark the imagination showing how these images could be visually abstracted and refined to create original designs for form and pattern.


Jane Arkwright. Graphite and white gouache A5 Sketchbook


Jane Arkwright. Watercolour surface experimentation A4 sketchbook


Jane Arkwright. Landscape – mixed media on canvas

Although now a painter, Jane Arkwright’s sketches and paintings have a textural quality that reflects her initial training in textiles.

Many makers work in a similar way, translating source material into work of vision and presence. Surprisingly often however, artists and makers from different disciplines use similar themes to create work of great diversity. This was the starting point for ‘Pattern, Colour & Form’.

While the first part of the book discusses common themes and is illustrated with inspirational images, the second part of the book is devoted to the artists and makers. They have been generous in revealing their individual creative processes and it is stimulating to see the journey from source to final piece. During the writing of the book, I was inspired and stimulated by the glimpse of the makers’ process, and it has made me revaluate my own work; seeing it from a different perspective. I hope that it will have the same effect on others.

Carolyn Genders

Carolyn Genders is a ceramist with over twenty year’s experience. A Fellow of the Craft Potters Association, she exhibits internationally and her work is represented widely in private and public collections.

Author of ‘Sources of Inspiration’ published in 2002, her new book ‘Pattern, Colour & Form, new approaches to creativity’ has recently been published, and includes work by Joan MacKarell.

Published by A&C Black
ISBN no: 978-0-7136-7809-3