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Diana Tonnison

I studied fashion and textiles degree at St Martin’s School of Art during its creative heyday of 1970’s. I had a wonderful and varied career in fashion and interior design. My art and knitted textiles background influences in my ceramic work today, the techniques and materials are very different, but the principles of design, colour and texture are similar.

I get inspiration from visiting markets for local produce from land and sea at home and abroad. The boxes in neat rows, orderly patterns or piled up, the visual excitement of colours, shapes, forms and smells! 

My image is a box of Cornish Mackerel. Fish markets display these wonderful shiny and colourful fish still bright eyed and glistening! I try to capture this freshness. Each fish is made individually and assembled in a handmade distressed wood box, which I have stained and lime waxed to give the authenticity of a market in years gone by. The fish are Raku fired, using various oxides in the crackle glazes, with added lustres. I make around 20 different types of fish boxes and some 23 different types of fruit and veg boxes. The fruit and veg boxes are made in similar manner, using electric kiln firings, and I use many different coloured glazes in a painterly manner.

This work is designed to be displayed on the wall as sculptural wall art, and often sold in twos and threes for the real feel of a market display. Another theme I use for my work show fish, fruit, vegetables and kitchen crockery in a still life genre, casually laid out, all ready to be prepared for the next meal.

Facebook:  Diana Tonnison Ceramics

craft&design Selected Gold Award Winner 2016
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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 30 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.