A chance encounter with the late Sudanese ceramicist Mo Abdalla, on the staircase of Camden Arts School in London was how Trayci Tompkins started her journey with clay. It was 1991 and she had gone there to enroll for a course in photography. But it took little convincing from Mo, who instantly recognised that the ‘girl from Africa’ needed to get her hands dirty. Mo was celebrated for his methods in hand coiling and slip decoration, so it was through his guidance that Trayci’s passion for ‘pots of Africa’ was inspired.
Travel in search of ancient culture, Mexican folk art, Medieval pageantry, archeology and theatrical storytelling all inspire this artist’s curiosity and provides constant inspiration for her growth. .
I love the challenge of clay construction and how it allows me to tell stories. The Theater and drama is evident in everything I make..
Like many artists, Trayci’s studio space is tailor made to suit her needs and a place where she spends time alongside her companion dogs and curious cat, Mrs Wallis.. With a keen eye for recycling old with new, Trayci’s current studio space brings the outside walled garden indoors, through a pair of over-sized vintage doors sourced from the old Magistrate courts. A large vintage shop till drawer is filled with an abundance of pottery tools, overlooked by two ancient Chancay burial ‘dolls‘ (pictured on the right) brought back, tied to a rucksack, from a mountain village in Peru.
Trayci’s tools and methods of construction are simple using flat slabs and coils of clay. Textures and artists markings are pressed and incised into her work, adding storytelling to each individual piece.