Biography - Tamsen Flack

Silk painting and ceramics may seem an odd combination but while one expresses the vibrancy of colour and the flow of a soft material, the other allows me to physically mould a natural material into the folds and shapes inspired by my love of nature and the flow of silk!

Throughout my life I have always done something artistic: for a long time it was making designs with pressed flowers, but as a child I was quite good at drawing and painting although I did not pursue it academically.

I started Silk Painting about 10 years ago: having seen a pretty printed silk scarf with butterflies on it in a magazine, I thought I would have a go at painting myself a scarf for my brother’s wedding. I became fascinated by the way the paint flowed and merged on silk, and the effects you can get.

Discovering silk paints inspired me to take up art again more seriously and I started going to evening classes in life drawing and then decided to do a Foundation art course. This broadened my outlook and I rediscovered pottery (which I had also had a go at as a child).

Since then I have completed a City and Guilds course in Silk Painting during which my teacher (Mary Day) introduced me to silk dyes (now my preferred medium to paint with because of their vibrancy and the fact that they do not alter the feel of the silk). I have also done a number of courses in creative ceramics.

I love the idea of “wearable art” and so I have designed, painted and made a dress and a flowing jacket as well as painting on scarves and capes and making pictures.

My ceramic works take the idea of “flow” into three dimensions: like silk I love the feel of working with clay and my designs tend to reflect the curves and undulations found in nature and in the flow of soft fabrics. I prefer (at the moment) working with the natural colours of clay, possibly with some oxides to give a little more depth or the more muted coloured glazes.

This year I held my first solo exhibition, “Earth and Fire” which included works in silk and clay.

I hope you enjoy looking at my pictures!