In her book, Sources of Inspiration, Carolyn Genders says, “I feel that drawing is the key to all artwork … Drawing has taught me to judge proportions, understand tone and strengths of light and shade … it helps sort out ideas and develop form.” Carolyn’s interest in the relationship between form and surface is reflected in her ceramic vessels. Her awareness of the place of coiling in the history of ceramics, and the pots of Minoan Crete and other ancient civilisations inform her work. Winter trees in silhouette, shadows and reflections on water, ripples and natural objects such as bones, shells and pebbles all inspire her. Carolyn carries a sketchbook in which she records and develops ideas that become part of her ‘creative memory’. Part of this memory are images of works by the painters Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Patrick Heron and Georges Rouault, whose brushwork and use of colour hold a quality of surface texture that Carolyn admires.
Carolyn’s work is coiled in white earthenware clay, although other hand-building techniques are sometimes used. Surfaces are created with a combination of vitreous slips and wax resist or incising and sgraffitto, with oxides and glazes adding further dimensions. Carolyn sees surface treatment as an opportunity to complement and emphasise the form of the vessel and strengthen its presence.
In 2011 Carolyn was presented with the Acquisitions Award at the 9th Ceramic Biennale,Kapfenberg, Austria, and also received an Honourable Mention at the 11th Ceramic Biennale, Mino, Japan.