Take Five with Katie Iacovou

Posted on 18 July, 2019 at 4:35

Katie Iacovou is a ceramicist who works with irregular forms which allow her a sense of freedom within the making process; finding beauty in the slightly wonky pieces. Hand building and coiling are used and there is a fluidity from the starting point to the finished piece.


Some of the textures and colours are influenced by the Cornish coastline and others by the rugged mountain tops you find in the Swiss Alps. These colours and textures are primarily shown in her organic bowl forms where the rims of the bowls are ripped and torn to achieve a rugged finish.


Katie completed a Studio Ceramics degree at Falmouth College of Arts, in Cornwall, then returned to London where she is originally from. Having had a long break from making due to work and family commitments she is now happily making again and working from her garden studio in London.

Katie's next exhibition is 'Land Over Sea' with my Take Five guest from last month, Laura Hepworth. It will run from 31 July-14 August at the Jeannie Avent Gallery in North Cross Road, East Dulwich, London. Laura and Katie will be taking influence from the natural beauty of the Cornish coast combining new canvases from Laura complimented by Katie's beautifully crafted ceramic bowls and sculptural pieces.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

I love the freedom it gives me. I am able to be creative in my own little space and that is a luxury. I don’t work in an office environment anymore so I don’t have anyone to answer to. I enjoy planning my own day and I set myself weekly tasks and if I don’t achieve them they get pushed onto the following week. Life is a juggle because I also have a family to look after but this is why working from home is the perfect solution for me. Also I get to touch clay everyday!

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Oh yes, so many to list! I love painters, potters and sculptors from the past and present. One of my biggest influences, from a young age, is Barbara Hepworth. I love how Barbara’s sculptures play nicely with space and form, and I’m particularly interested in the negative space she creates within an art piece. I also love how she combines other materials into her work, such as wire. There's something mesmerising about how Hepworth connects her large beautifully sculpted organic forms with the wire. Combining these two materials creates a beautiful space within the piece and it's this contrast between the two materials that attracts me and inspires me.

I’ve always enjoyed combining other materials with clay, such as driftwood, wire and glass and this is a direct influence from Hepworth. For me part of the joy and challenge is assembling these different materials together and connecting them to create a new art piece. Adding a piece of driftwood or metal to my vessels can completely change the overall look and the aesthetic of a piece. Other artists that have influenced me around the same time are Henry Moore and Picasso.

We also have so many amazing ceramicists but my top two are Lucie Rie and Kyra Cane.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Do what you love, if you are passionate about something then follow your heart.

Being creative makes my soul happy and I have such a deep passion for ceramics that it will always be a part of my life. Running a small business or being an artist is hard and I wish colleges and universities prepared students better for this part of running a business and not just the creative bit - although the creative bit is the bit we love doing!

I’d also say listen to your intuition and work hard towards your goals. If you are passionate about what you do then persevere and keep going no matter what ups and downs you come across. The ups and downs are part of the journey and we are always learning.

Challenges and obstacles will be put in front of you but if you truly believe in what you do then I believe you can succeed, having said that you need to put the work in. The universe won’t hand it to you!

If you hit a creative block what is your top tip for getting through it?

When this happens it’s time to walk away from you work. That’s when you need to go and do something else. It could be something mundane such as doing the chores or maybe going out for a walk around the park and being in nature. I work from home so I need to get out of the house occasionally. I’ll either go to the park or pop to the local coffee shop, and I usually bump into someone I know and stop for a quick chat. Whatever I do, I just need to forget about the creative problem, which I know can be hard. I feel that the creative side of your brain needs to be switched off by changing its focus for a while and then when your mind is relaxed, ideas eventually come to you. So, walk away is my advice.

Also when the idea does come write it down and if you don’t have a pen and paper to hand then I type it in my phone, using my ‘Notes’. I use my Notes a lot!

If you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Mmm well ideally I’d like to walk around with bare feet at home but if I have to choose a shoe I would say trainers. Comfy and ready to sprint into action if necessary!


Categories: Take Five