About Julia Elliot
Although born in South Africa, I spent my childhood growing up on a trout fishery in the New Forrest before returning to attend the Johannesburg School for Art at the age of 13. Once again back in the U.K., I did an Art foundation in Chester and went on to specialise in Illustration and Design in Southampton.
A career in illustration and design took me around the country, and sometimes overseas. In 2001, some of my work, in conjunction with Arthur C Clark, was sent to NASA and went aboard the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station!
Becoming disillusioned with the design industry, I spent 9 years running Film and Photography adventure tours, mostly Safaris in Africa, before coming to settle in Wales.
But ceramic sculpting was my first love, and though I have studied and worked successfully in other fields, ceramics has always been my preferred ‘go to’ medium. My current work in copper fumed raku, is the culmination of a journey which started over 15 years ago when I first decided to make sculpture my full time career. Beginning with very representational and colourful figures, I found that as soon as I had mastered a skill I needed to set myself another challenge. I spent time doing sculptures of peoples pets which developed my ability to create character and movement in everything from cats to show jumpers. Over the last two years, I have moved away from more representational work and am experimenting with more stylised pieces - pushing the boundaries of the clay to create longer legs, more dynamic poses, etc. While still keeping within the figurative style I love, I experimented with the clays that I use, finally finding T-material (a clay specially formulated for raku work) which gave me the malleability and strength I needed, as well as being able to withstand the thermal shock of the raku process.
In my sculpture I hope to create emotion in the viewer, from the naughty, funny, playfulness of a Thelwell style pony, to the regal strength and dependability of a heavy horse - from the grace of a sight hound to the love and adoration of a spaniel.
Copper fuming added the final, wonderful, uncontrolled aspect I had been looking for in my work - everything from subtle muted colours to a full blown colour riot. Its notoriously difficult and fickle nature has constantly held my interest and I find it almost painful, nowadays, to have to leave my studio and attend to life’s other necessities!
My studio is based in the beautiful mountains of North Wales, but I can often be found at shows around the country.