Anna Barlow Ceramics
Anna Barlow is a pottery artist who creates the most impressive and delicious-looking ice-cream sculptures made out of clay and glaze. She works in the most excruciating detail, and her life-like pieces are just stunning to hold.
I first got acquainted with Anna’s work via my wife Raquel, who is also a keen potter herself — I first had the chance of meeting her at a pop-up shop she was organising in London, and approximately after 3 seconds of wide-eyed disbelief holding one of Anna’s pieces, I knew I had to photograph her at her studio.
As part of the studio shot, I was keen to find out and try capturing the process that goes into the creation of each of these pieces. Anna is the nicest person, and during a series of conversations she described the lot of research (sweet, sweet research) and testing that goes into her work; on the above pictures you can see some unfinished pieces laid on the table, surrounded by a banana cast mold (!) and a myriad of tinier details that are laid onto the almost architectural arrangements. Anna also develops her own glazes after years of testing, which are pastel-looking when unbaked, and become liquid with the high temperatures of the kiln, running and mixing before crystallising into beautiful swirls of vivid colours after cooling down.
Because some of the images were likely to be used for publication on trade magazines, we took the chance to do more formal portraits with the help of my most talented Anna Maria Rivera doing her usual magic on hair and make-up.
The space for the shoot was quite tight, so I had to be extra careful not to cause a disaster by moving about with light stands and flashes in a space full of delicate pieces of pottery! Luckily we managed to fit within the studio for the main shoot, and then set the additional looks in the wall of an adjacent corridor with the use of one of my painted backdrops I brought with me on the day.
All in all this was a terribly fun to shoot, and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to get closer and learn more the work of such a talented artist. Do check Anna’s creations on her Instagram account @annabarlowceramics.