Spotlight: Ella Porter

Exploring the creative potential between ceramics, print and painting
12 December, 2022
Spotlight: Ella Porter
Ella Porter is inspired by both the urban landscape and coastal features of North Norfolk. Graduating from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Contemporary Ceramics, she continues to base herself in London, and works across disciplines of contemporary craft and fine art. Her present interests stem from a background in painting, printmaking and ceramics.
Ella's work displays a strong relationship between surface and form; exploring ideas surrounding the mark of the maker, temporality, trace and place.
She makes work informed by both the urban architecture of the city (London), as well as the rural and coastal landscapes of North Norfolk, where she has spent much of her life and where her family currently live.
She grew up in London and completed her Foundation Diploma, specialising in Drawing, at Camberwell College of Art, in 2011. She then went on to study for a BA degree in Painting and Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2014. Following her BA and the GSA fire of 2014, she was awarded a Phoenix Bursary and received the NL Culture prize, for which she produced a solo exhibition. Ella went on to set up a studio in London and began working with clay which led to her Diploma in Ceramics at the CityLit, 2017. In 2021 she completed her MA at The Royal College of Art, which was supported by The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.

Selection of Ella Porter's work




A statement from Ella Porter
'I am drawn to clay's unique ability to preserve the act of making, as both conscious and unconscious moments of touch are held in the surface of the ceramic object.
My practice displays a strong relationship between surface and form, informed by a BA in painting and printmaking.  As I explore ideas surrounding the mark of the maker, temporality, trace and place, I refer to a range of historic ceramic artefacts, as well as writing on social and painting theory.
Throughout the making of a work there is a continual shift between layering and erasing: a conversation with the material.  I make careful and subtle interventions at strategic points during the mutable states of the clay.  By visually scanning the surface of an evolving work, I read impressions it may have picked up. These impressions directly inform the conscious actions I impose on the material.
The end point of a work is not defined by firing the clay, as I continue to alter the surface once the object is fixed as ceramic.  I sense the conclusion of a work when I reach a place of wanting to hold onto what is left - a sense of something pre-existing revealing itself.'

About the author

Paul Vater, Director of Contemporary and Country

Paul Vater

Paul conducts studio visits to maintain strong relationships with artists, designers and craftspeople who show their work with us. He manages the main C&C website and has developed the online shop where selected works are presented for sale.


Paul established his design company, Sugarfree, in 1990 and quickly gained a reputation for delivering fresh, effective marketing campaigns and brand identities for clients including Save the Children Fund, United Nations Association and UNHCR. Over the years those added to the roster include IPC Magazines, Arts Council England, The Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Arts Marketing Association, Look Ahead Housing and Care, Paddington Waterside, BBC Worldwide, Commonwealth Foundation, Prestel, City of London Corporation, Baker Street Quarter, Victoria BID and the University of East Anglia.