RAMP is Roop & Al Make Pots, a creative partnership between Alice Hartford and Rupert Johnstone. •
Roop & Al met at Edinburgh College of Art in the late 1990’s and began working together as RAMP in 2001 at Cockpit Arts in Deptford, London.
RAMP makes thrown Earthenware and Porcelain functional and studio ceramics. Roop specialises in the throwing of pots and Al’s focus is on the decoration.
In 2004 we moved to Devon initially to a studio at the Beaford Arts Centre and in 2005 to our house and workshop in Silverton, where we have been ever since.
My approach to painting the pots has evolved over the years that Roop & I have been working together. Inspiration comes from looking at plant life and the natural environment. In turn, this is abstracted into various motifs found on the pots. I mostly use coloured slips to paint with and these are built up in layers using different brushstrokes when the pots are still wet. This allows for a fluidity and a sense of movement within the designs. I like to treat all the pots individually working on them like drawings.
I have been making things out of clay since I was fourteen and became aware of the possibilities of clay at because of an inspirational teacher. I enjoy the tactile qualities of clay and I have always liked the rhythms of making whether it be throwing or handbuilding.
Clay is a seductive material. In it’s raw state it has limitless potential, yet through the firing it is transformed and fixed.
I make things to be held as well as looked at. Things that are made need to be handled or used in some way. That basic interaction is part of the understanding of it.
When I am making for Alice, I make simple clean forms as a platform for her decoration.