Russell is a third generation ‘potter’… born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, home of the ‘potteries’. Birthplace of Wedgwood, Spode and countless other factories.
His family still operates a pottery studio there, which his father began in 1974.
His father and his grandfather worked pottery making factories all their live’s and the family home in the UK is full of pieces that his father modelled.
Russell entered the family pottery business at age 16. Here he learned his craft, modelling shapes and embossment designs for clients, from large factories to small design firms, artists and potters. His most notable work was modelling a reproduction 18th Century clock for Her Majesty the Queen in his twenties.
Although his work was varied and interesting given the precise craftsmanship involved, he began to seek out opportunities to pursue his own projects.
He completed a fine arts ceramics degree and moved to Canada in order to explore greater artistic freedom.
Over the past 17 years working at his studios in Vancouver & Bowen Island, Russell has been designing, modelling and making his own work specializing in slipcast porcelain, as well as offering a service to the ‘clay community’.
Russell uses the skills that he learned from his father, to create exquisitely proportioned designs and more recently, has begun to explore conceptual projects.
His functional work is sold across North America. He has exhibited non-functional work in BC and Alberta.
“Apart from my history, I am drawn to the humility of the medium – its utilitarian history – and the connection one has, as a maker, with the material.
Creating is like ‘finding’ in a way. I have the curiosity to see what happens – if ‘I place that shape, that slight curve against that straight edge’.
I sometimes wonder if creative work is a way of communicating with the wider world what you have ‘found’; simply wanting to share something you have created/found to be interesting or beautiful, hoping they will be blessed by it.
I’m quite ‘evangelical’ where good design/art is concerned: I believe good design enhances life
My work of recent years has reflected a desire for harmony in design, a sense of balance and well chosen minimal detailing. I feel creative within my natural inclination for restraint.”