Ellen McCann

Ceramic, Sculpture

Ellen McCann was born in rural Aberdeenshire and now lives in South Lanarkshire. A graduate from Gray’s School of Art, Ellen then went on to combine creating sculptures with a successful and rewarding teaching career. She is now working full time as a sculptor and exhibits regularly.

Having lived in the countryside all her life, this is her main source of inspiration. Both the landscape and her own garden provide endless opportunities for artistic response; her current focus is on points of change – for example: plants at various stages of their life cycle, landscape being shaped by the elements and fragile forms in nature. Natural growth and decay provide inspiration for her work.

Ellen McCann’s ceramic sculptures are formed using the coil and slab method. They are fired to 1250° which helps to protect them from low temperatures. The sculptures can therefore be placed outside where they look wonderful amongst plants. They are glazed either with a matt white glaze or with coloured oxides to enhance the forms.

My current focus is based on observations of the various stages of the life cycle of plants and how landscape is shaped by the elements. Natural growth and decay are core inspirations with points of change fleeting and fragile and my artistic response provides an exciting challenge.

One particular interest is the interaction of forms and one way I explore this theme is through combining different materials in my work.

At present I am combining metal and ceramics – two contrasting materials which has presented interesting challenges in creating a coherent sculptural piece. In making the piece, I was conscious that these two materials will be impacted by the elements in different ways – the patina of the metal dramatically changing in contrast to the stability of the ceramic form – and this adds an additional dimension to the form.

I studied sculpture and ceramics from Gray’s School of Art and graduated with a diploma and post diploma and taught art for many years.

I am a professional member of SSA, VAS and PAI and over the years I was awarded prizes from the art school including a travelling scholarship and also several prizes from RSA, VAS and PAI.

I exhibit regularly at national and local level, have worked on several commissions and occasionally open my studio to the public.

My studio has a rural outlook and is situated near Biggar overlooking the hills of the Scottish Borders.

Ellen McCann