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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Harriet Hellman

Having completed a BA Fine Art /Sculpture, Harriet Hellman pursued a career in the Art Department for Film and TV for 16 years. She went on to complete an HND in Ceramics at Richmond Adult Education College in 2007 and a two-year Ceramics Diploma at the City Lit in 2014, followed by an MA at the  Royal College of Art from 2018-2020.

Harriet continues to work as a self-employed artist and part-time educator from her studio in South London. She has exhibited widely, with recent shows including (Eco)Logical Sense Exhibition at the Hockney Gallery in Kensington, organized by Sustain Lab, the Haptic/The Virtual, organized by Conscious Isolation (online exhibition) and teaching with Clay for Dementia at the Garden Museum at Lambeth Palace.

Harriet is looking forward to taking part in a  residency with SailBritain in September, where she will be sailing around the Scottish Islands looking at the impact of climate on our oceans.

She continues to look for opportunities to take part in exhibitions, global residencies, and discussions around sustainability, coastal erosion, and the fragility of the planet and is planning to explore the transformational nature of time on the human experience through ceramics, photography and film.

 For commissions and sales inquiries please contact Harriet at or visit





Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Ceramics & Glass (MA)

My fine art practice is centered on my concerns with coastal erosion and rising sea levels, specifically the wild Atlantic coastline of North Devon in the west of England. The ceaseless cycle of the natural elements embeds itself in my making, both physically and emotionally. The process of layering, tearing and building with the clay creates a visceral response in me, which is both immediate and meditative. Celebrating imperfection and impermanence, searching for liminal spaces, while reflecting on my concerns with ecological fragility. Feeling the need to connect with nature when the world often feels disconnected. 

A part of my practice is to take some of my work to the coast, using film to record my performative interactions with the unfired clay in the landscape. Trying to capture place, space and time and the energy of the moment. I physically layer the clay into a new narrative on the coastline, including filming in the sea. This offers a deliberate exchange, as I return some days later to see if anything of the work has come back. Sometimes it has been transformed, ‘a gift from the sea’.

I take this work back to the studio and fire it, completing this alchemical exchange.

Deep Time I

Folds of weathered rocks, Welcombe Mouth, Devon

Deep Time I

Deep Time I

This work was my response to the wild Atlantic coast of North Devon, the geological rock strata and the energy of the sea creates a visceral response in me which is both immediate and meditative. Tearing up the layers of clay ignites an emotional and physical connection in me, embedding memories of the coast into the form and surface which is worn, torn and scarred.


Clays, glazes and oxides.



Deep Time II

Deep Time II

Sandstone Ridges of North Devon

Deep Time II

This work was made as a physical engagement and response to the spectacular rock formations that have stood for millions of years on the coast of North Devon. Suggesting something that is beyond ourselves and not of the every day emphasizing transition and transformation


layered clay bodies





Letting Go


Launch Project



This unfired work was taken to the coast in the South of England and either transformed by the tide or taken away. letting go of the outcome and surrendering to the force of nature is a liberating and spiritual experience for me.


unfired clay

Limen I Stoneware 33x20x26(fired).

Limen I (taken)

Limen II Stoneware 26x22x21(fired).

Limen II (Returned)

Ebb and Flow (fired)

Surrender - coastal experiments — This film shows clips of my experiments at the coast, I had planned and a film to take place on the coast but had to postpone this due to lock down.
This series of work was put on the shore of the North coast of Devon for the tide to take, an offering. Returning the next day parts were found on the beach often a long way from where they were placed, sometimes buried and always transformed by the sea. I return to London to fire them completing this alchemical exchange.

Tipping Point (Side 1 ) 28x28x28 — Layered stoneware clays

Rock Formations

Tipping Point (Side2)

Tipping Point II — Layered clays build the form and the textured surface represents the anthropogenic epoch. 42x20x30

Tipping Point Detail

Textured Glazes

These works are based on my concerns with the ecological fragility of the planet, the human impact on the environment and the fragility and balance of the coastal landscape.

Anthropocenic Wave – 40x42x17 Stoneware — Evoking the natural forces of the wild Atlantic Coast and the geology of the landscape

Detail of layered surface and glazes

Anthropocene Wave – Stoneware

Portrait with work

These works are based on my concerns with the precariousness of the human condition, the fragility of the earth and the detrimental effect of the human on the natural environment. Thinking about the engagement of time and the natural forces of the sea on the geology of the landscape, the work is multi fired with layered glazes until I intuitively feel the work is finished.


Stoneware Clay and Glazes


21 July 2020
12:30 (GMT + 0)

Engaging through materials: Collaboration, Community and Communication with ceramics and glass

This discussion explores ways that students in C&G have expanded their practices beyond the studio.
Read More

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