Shirley Vauvelle is quickly becoming recognized nationally and international as an established British maker. Her mixed media work is collected in the UK and overseas. She graduated from Leicester Polytechnic in 1989 with a degree in Surface Decoration. After taking time out to raise her three boys she has built up a small business producing unique contemporary assemblages which are shown in galleries across the country. Alongside developing her ceramic and driftwood pieces, Shirley works on mixed media canvases. These are built up with layers of colour and texture over a long period of time until the right feel and balance is achieved. Influenced by marks and patterns found on the landscape or moment she might witness while looking onto her garden.
Shirley creates wall hung and freestanding sculptures using white earthenware to hand build components, small creatures, birds and fish. Texture is embossed into the surface of leather dry slab rolled clay. After hand building a component it is bisque fired. Then under glazes and oxides are applied and rubbed away to give layers of colour. Fired again at a higher firing temperature. Components are then assembled together with driftwood, wire, vintage maps to create a narrative giving the components a harmonistic relationship with the reclaimed materials. Shirley is also developing working with porcelain to create beautiful individual pieces concentrating on surface quality and informal shape.
Influences come from Danish and Scandinavian design and mid 20th century ceramists such as Aldo Londi and painters such as Amedeo Modigliani and Frida Kahlo.
Her work is inspired by moments in time, such as an observation made in her garden or on a walk along the east coast where Shirley lives. With her sculptures there is an underlying quirkiness to each piece.
She supplies contemporary galleries nationally and internationally, with over 17,000 followers on social media. Earlier this year she was commissioned by an Italian architect to produce an installation for the Hilton Hotel Molino Stucky, a five star hotel in Venice. Shirley’s work and studio has been featured on Channel 4 ‘s program Homes by the Sea, Series 2 episode 2. Her work has been featured in magazines both in the UK and America.