Born in Bangor Co Down 1953.
Rory Shearer has been making pottery for 43 years
In 2004 he established his current studio in the Antrim Hills just north of Ballyclare in Co. Antrim.
His current practice is primarily wheel based and addresses issues around the concept of functionality and form, with specific attention to surface through the use of slips and oxides, he works with stoneware and porcelain. Firing in a gas kiln or wood fired kiln to 1280C in a reduction atmosphere.
While his work has a certain Asian influence in the shape and forms produced, he takes inspiration from his environment, the colours and textures on the land, which give his work a sense of place.
Living in the country now has given his work a sense of place, of industry; a place which is visually stunning and physically extreme, difficult. Rory’s pottery does not romanticise the countryside but suggests its beauty, order, strength while reminding us that it is hard work, dangerous and unexpected.
In his early years both as a student and as a studio potter he was greatly influenced by what has come to be known as ‘The Leach Tradition’, a standard for modern ceramics set out in the 1940’s based much on the idea that pots were like human beings and drawn deeply on the ceramics traditions of the east, in particular Japan. For Shearer this manifested itself in ceramics that were well made, trained and primarily with an Asian influence. His work rejected industrialisation, and frames of reference came from Leach. He was making functional pottery, it had to work. The form of the work had taken over, ‘form helps the surface, it follows the line,’ surfaces were smooth, and it is what the market dictated.