Constantinidis, Joanna

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Country of birth: 
Great Brittain
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Joanna Constantinidis is born in York in 1927. She trained at Sheffield College of Art where she took pottery (1945-1949) going on to set up a studio at Great Baddow in Essex in 1950. In 1951 she became a lecturer in Ceramics at Chelmsford Technical College and School of Art, and taught full-time there for nearly 40 years. During the weekend she made her own pots. In 1978 she was awarded the Medal of Honour at the international exhibition of ceramic art in Faenza. In 1989 she took early retirement in order to devote herself to producing ceramics full-time. By this time her work was internationally recognised and her pieces were being shown in the United States, Belgium, Germany and Italy as well as in the United Kingdom. Joanna passed away in 2000.

Her work is represented in major collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Work of the artist: 

The historical influences on her work were medieval pottery, Staffordshire slipware, saltglaze and industrial pottery. She experimented with form, by abstracting and extending it while retaining the concept of the vessel. Many pieces are asymmetrical, tilting or leaning with rounded or sharply defined bases. She used drawing as a basis for developing ideas. Her work reflects a modernist approach emphasising clarity of form and linear purity. She used stoneware and 'T' Material and, occasionally porcelain. Forms were thrown on the wheel, shaped, moulded, cut, and altered by hand. The surface of the clay was burnished and fired at 1300 degrees in saggars filled with grain which combusts around the pot to create rich surface effects. Some pots have lustre glazes, she used copper, iron and tin. She also made exquisite porcelain tableware, glazed in matt white and cream. She considered her retrospective touring exhibition Ceramics from Twenty Five Years organised with the Ballantyne Collection and University of Derby the best representation of her work in her lifetime. She was a member of the Craft Potters Association, the Crafts Council shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum held a one-person exhibition in 2000 (Text: Aberystwyth University).

Image source: 

vase 1 ca. 1968 (Joan B Mirviss Ltd Collection, New York); vase 2 ca. 1975 (Maak Aution, London); vase 3, ca. 1980, h. 27,5 cm (MAAK Auction London).