Artist and cartographer Loraine Rutt has been making maps from clay for over 25 years.
At her Central St Martins 1990 show, antique maps and their stylised motifs were her muse. ‘Vessel’, a huge ceramic bath made from 247 tiles, was a cartographically inspired galleon complete with figurehead, and was sponsored by the architectural ceramics firm Shaws of Darwen. This show launched her career with bowls, hand basins and tile panels and the very first piece sold was a globe.
Travel and maps have remained her primary influence. The focus of her one-off pieces has varied in scale from large architectural ceramics like Bellenden Map Terrace to encapsulating in porcelain the minute remote sensing data in the Mapping Space series.
In Current Work Loraine presents a series of relief landscapes, abstracted from map detail, emphasising river and coastline erosion. London's Lost Rivers pares back the urban environment and presents London as a topographic relief map, and was based upon a map she drew for publication whilst cartographer at Birkbeck College.
Awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship, in 1996 she travelled through Spain, across the USA by motorbike, and Mexico. Collecting images of architectural ceramics and stories from the contemporary makers, her journey studied the use of studio ceramics in public art and architecture. She also drew inspiration from the landscape and the maps used on her voyage, and her solo show Road Works was a sell-out success.
She has continued her connection with architectural ceramics, and has recently made ceramic architectural models, and provided glaze consultation for Metropolitan Architects for a glazed tower of affordable housing in Wandsworth (coincidently next to the site her grandfather worked at for 50 years and the river he learnt to swim in!).
She has returned to making globes time and again, and The Little Globe Co has grown from an idea to recreate the Pocket Globes of the 18th and 19th century for modern collectors. Described by the Science Museum as ‘Gentleman’s Novelties’, these tiny globes were beautiful, highly detailed miniature worlds that could literally be held in one hand. Focusing on the relief detail, Loraine has developed a range of tiny porcelain globes at a scale of 1:170 000 000, that can also be mounted and rotated in little oak cases, which she hopes will become covetable contemporary Pocket Globes.
Her work is in private collections worldwide.
To view her Crafts Council Profile page click here
To view her portfolio website please use the links in the text or click here.
To view an interview with Homes and Antiques Magazine Homes and Antiques TV