Collaborator Profile: Barbara Andrews

Barbara Andrews produces ceramic models inspired by cellular structures. Through her pottery workshops, she aims to share knowledge about the structure of cells and how they work in an engaging and memorable way. Barbara Andrews worked on the Stories from the Sheds project.
Barbara Andrews

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I work in ceramics using stoneware and porcelain to produce cellular inspired structures. In the past I have exhibited at New Designers, OXO gallery, John Lewis pop up, and more recently Carshalton artists events.

How were you involved in Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

The aim of our workshop was to illustrate the blending of science and art and highlight how science in particular cell biology is a source of inspiration for artists. I collaborated with Lucie Pitts, a recent microbiology graduate who undertook research into the work being carried out at the ICR in order to convey this to our audience. I made a ceramic model of a cell that would be used to explain the structure of the cell during our workshops. I also produced a PowerPoint presentation on the influences and processes I use followed by a demonstration and participant workshop.

My recent work has been inspired by seed pods; my participation in the project has inspired me to revisit images of microscopic cellular structures and draw on similarities between the two.
An assortment of coloured clay-based art pieces featuring several bobbles and holes
An assortment of white, grey and brown clay-based art pieces featuring several bobbles and holes
Image 1: Work made by STEAM workshop participants. Image 2: Barbara Andrews cellular inspired ceramics.

Were there any highlights and/or take-aways from being part of Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

My participation in the event provided me with the opportunity to review, document and present my working practices which was something I hadn’t previously taken the time to do. It has inspired me to seek out working on future collaborations and providing workshops. I usually work alone so it was a welcome change to be involved in a collaboration and I particularly enjoyed the demonstration and workshop aspect.

What does STEAM mean to you?

Working with ceramics  involves skills in STEAM subjects so the crossover is inevitable and I use these as tools to help me in my practise and provide me with a source of inspiration eg. I am constantly testing clays and glazes and viewing microscopic cell images and mathematical patterns. All of this feeds into my work. Before taking up ceramics I worked in engineering which has provided me with a solid foundation for my current working process.

What’s up next for you?

Following on from the project, I will now be working on producing a body of work inspired by cellular structures.
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Sutton STEAMs Ahead