Ashraf Hanna is surely the UK’s most highly respected, and collected ceramic artist, and a featured artist at Primrose Gallery since 2003. Born in Egypt and now resident in west Wales, Hanna’s work is concerned with achieving the balance of creating ceramics which are inextricably linked to the forms and techniques of the ancient world. Yet they are utterly contemporary in their personality. He says: “I am always excited by the prospects of the interaction between the precision of my designs and the spontaneity of the fire. The technique of burnished smoke-fired ceramics poses many challenges; it is seemingly simple yet one that is quite laborious and often fraught with difficulties. One can never take the results for granted since a successful piece is essentially the result of a collaboration between design and chance, precision and spontaneity, artist and elements – for it is the flames which ultimately breath life into the work.”
After 10 years of making and exhibiting, in 2009, Ashraf Hanna decided that it was important to take time out of that continuous cycle to allow space for new ideas to develop. The body of work that was conceived during his MA at the Royal College of Art is concerned with exploring how scale, colour, texture and material inform our perception and understanding of form. The resulting work is more sculptural, and often more vibrant in colour than his more traditional Raku pieces from the earlier years.