About Elise

Elise Ruffell is a UK-based ceramicist, artist and educator. In 2020 she graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with an MA in Ceramics & Glass. You can view Elise's RCA Online Degree Show here.


Following a previous career as an IT consultant in the late 1990s, Elise discovered a passion for clay, graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in 2007 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Ceramic Design.


Elise's ceramic practice focuses on the use of colour to represent emotion within the constraints of geometric forms.


Alongside her studio practice, Elise is an art & design educator who has worked with students of all levels and ages including Undergraduate, Access to HE, A-level and Extended Diploma. She has also run community ceramics and craft projects with schools and other groups. Elise is currently a visiting tutor on the Postgraduate Certificate in Art & Design Education at the Royal College of Art. 


Elise also has extensive experience of teaching maths and is a specialist in embedding maths in creative teaching. More information about Elise's teaching experience can be found here.

Artist's statement:

My forms are familiar and geometric – circles, cubes and prisms. Each would be characterless were it not for the inclusions of colourful Parian clay. The spectrum appears to burst from the surface, as though no longer able to be supressed. Each piece asserts its own unique agency and identity, inspired by my personal journey to self-knowledge and acceptance. 


On the circular two-dimensional pieces, colours swirl and flow, moving and merging as I work with the clay. The circle acts as a porthole, a window into a vibrant world.


My three-dimensional forms employ the process of press-moulding – pushing the material from the inside. The enjoyment of spontaneity and uncertainty is paramount, the final aesthetic only revealed when removed from the mould. Hence I divest control over exactly how each piece will look, valuing the cracks and fissures which are not imperfections but an expression of uniqueness. I consider striving for perfection to be an ultimately fruitless task. Who defines these expectations anyway? Society may push us to conform to certain conventions but it is in being true to myself that I truly thrive.  

 

Education:

2018-2020  MA Ceramics & Glass, Royal College of Art, London, UK

 

2012-2014   Certificate in Education, University of Plymouth, UK

 

2004-2007  BA (Hons) Ceramic Design, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK [First Class]

 

2003-2004  Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK

 

1994-1997   BSc (Hons) Statistical Science with Information Technology, University of Exeter, UK

 

Exhibitions include:

Contemporary Ceramics, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, the Royal College of Art, Pulse at Earls Court, Handmade in Britain at Chelsea Old Town Hall, The Craft Centre & Design Gallery at Leeds Art Gallery, New Brewery Arts Cirencester, Saltram National Trust House, the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts and the Barbican, London.

 

Publicity includes:

Country Living Magazine, Emerging Potters Magazine, Design Arts Magazine, a-n Magazine, London Potters Newsletter (cover), White Weddings Magazine and The Ceramic Design Course by Anthony Quinn.