Ali came to ceramics after twenty years as partner of a creative design consultancy in London. As an antidote to computers and managing a company she tried ceramics and found it completely absorbed her.
She soon found that porcelain was her material, because of the smooth surface it has for her marks to sit on and because of the quality of the material itself; the fluidity when wet and the fragile appearance, but surprising strength, when finished.
Her work is in porcelain with most surfaces unglazed and sanded to a smooth finish. The pieces are very tactile, encouraging you to follow the lines and shapes around the forms and feel the indentations made by the markings. Some are glazed inside, like a shell that is hard and glossy inside but sanded to a smooth finish by the sea on the outside.
Much of the surface is left in the natural white of the porcelain, allowing the colours used to be clean and fresh against it. Ali's design background definitely influences her work and she is also constantly trying new things out. Inspired by the most simple of marks, be they linear or graphic, natural, man made or sometimes happily accidental.Ali Tomlin: Artist of the Month
Black Lines Vase
One-off, contemporary, thrown porcelain. A limited palette of colours are applied, with scribbled or scored lines and marks onto clean, white, sanded porcelain forms.
Blue Lines Cylinder Vase
Ali Tomlin vases are very distinctive. This is a thrown porcelain cylinder vase. The vase is glazed on the inside and is watertight. It is sanded on the outside so feels smooth to touch.
Spherical indigo vase with line
A wheel thrown spherical vase made of porcelain. The vase is glazed on the inside and water tight. It has been softly sanded on the outside so it feels smooth to touch. Some of the vase has been left the natural white of the porcelain and some painted with a rich indigo glaze, which contrast beautifully.
Two Blues Jug
The Two Blues jug by Ali Tomlin is made from fine porcelain. The jug is sanded to a smooth finish with a blue painted smudge effect and light slices into the piece.