An Exaltation of Larks is the work of Su Leaver. She has been involved in arts and crafts for many years as a designer, making pottery, jewellery, accessories, metal work, murals, set design, illustration and much else. Since 1995 she has had a studio in Hackney in the East End of London where she teaches ceramics and makes her work
Su's mains inspirations are London and natural history. She is an avid gardener and often uses plants she has grown to make impressions in the clay. She likes transforming the delicacy of foliage and petals into something permanent and durable
The Thames and London have been a recurrent theme in Su's work for many years. She has a concurrent career as an archaeologist and sometimes this influences her work
In the past she made a series of tiles of her footsteps across London casting the surfaces of places that have strong resonance in her life. She currently makes London Borough dishes' and also necklaces and art pieces from 'treasures' found on the Thames foreshore.
Much of Su Leaver's ceramic work is made using the technique of Raku in a gas fired kiln.She loves the texture, tone and variety of the glazes. She also makes work in the electric kiln, often using recycled glass. Techniques include slip casting, modelling, hand building, incision, impression and sprigging.
Su originally trained as a jeweller in the 1980s and likes to combine the crafts of the ceramicist and jeweller as in her realistic pebble jewellery and the bright geometric ceramic earrings and porcelain and gold lustre jewellery available on Etsy.
'I hate to spend time doing nothing- so when travelling around London by bus and tube I often surreptitiously sketch people. I have to be secretive and quick! People often only stay for one stop! This habit led me to make wall plaques with my illustrations. An unexpected benefit of sketching was I found that I was much more interested by and tolerant of my fellow commuters, I wondered about their lives and hidden stories.'