Sculpture Lounge Studios Holmfirth

Hilary Simms

07800 580775

Hilary was captivated by the tactile work of British sculptors, such as Henry Moore, after visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park with her young children. In particular she was drawn to the abstract forms created by Barbara Hepworth,and the emotional response they seemed to evoke. It inspired her to start making again and producing her own sculptural ceramics, exploring tentatively the relationship between abstract form and viewer.

After working for a number of years in her family run industrial ceramics workshop, Hilary's passion was to return to the intimate hand building technique of coiling and pinching clay, slowly coaxing it into the desired sculptural form.

In 2009 a rare opportunity arose for her to take an 18 month residency at the Sculpture Lounge in Holmfirth, working alongside other professional artists. It was here that Hilary developed and refined her work, producing bronze sculptures and hand built Naked Raku fired ceramic sculpture. She named the work, "The Nautilus Collection".

Raku means "enjoyment , comfort or ease",  the technique was created in Japan in the 16th century and originally used for decorating tea bowls. It is the unpredictable nature of Raku that gives Hilary's pieces their unique calmness, she can create definite lines to enhance movement in the form but all other marks are made by chance. This creates the natural organic surface, to complement the form, that Hilary needs to complete her sculptures. Her work is evocative of another time, tranquil and beautiful.

Making ceramic sculpture reflects Hilary's emotional response to life and quite often the sculpture reflects the way she feels. The making process seems to create feelings of peace and this is echoed in the work itself. The making is bound up with, and a necessary part of her life.