Ronald Pennell

  • Rare Bird Over cased green glass diamond wheel engraved Size 19x27x18cm.JPG Rare Bird, 2011 - over cased green glass and wheel engraved.
  • Bird man and Harpy ( two of a kind) Kiln cast crystal glass modelled carved and diamond wheel.JPG Bird Man and Harpy (Two of a Kind), 2000 - kiln cast crystal glass modelled carved and wheel engraved.
  • Arrival of the Green Man Over cased green glass diamond wheel engraved Size18x18x12cm.jpg Arrival of the Green Man, 2003 - over cased green glass and wheel engraved.
  • The Rescue Crystal glass diamond wheel engraved Size 20x20cm.jpg The Rescue Crystal, 2008 - glass and wheel engraved.

What inspires me

Life is a story. Reality is a confusion of memory and images . The only difference between  narrative and experience of anything is perception. As an artist I interpret my view of English country life, world myths and poetry as a series of dramatic events. The right sense of critical mass heightens the drama.  The Japanese Printmaker Hokusai was a master of critical mass and negative space in which blank areas are as important as the images. I have found it a great help to work in different techniques such as modelling, carving, engraving, sculpture and printmaking this helps to maintain a fresh approach.

Making in the Midlands

After art school I worked as an apprentice, engraving metal and designing and drawing under Cyril Shiner at what was then Birmingham College of Art. Awarded a scholarship to study in Germany, I returned to Birmingham aged 22 and became a lecturer at the College of Art. In 1964 with my wife who also lectured at the college, I gave up teaching to establish joint studios in Herefordshire. Since then I have been a visiting professor and lectured in the U.S.A, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and exhibited widely including Japan.

My retrospective exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery toured the UK. The University of Wolverhampton awarded me an Honorary Professorship.  Prague has also been very important and I have been fortunate to have a thirty year association with Czech artists. Recognised with their Gold Medal and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Arts Architecture and Design. At a personal level Herefordshire has provided the most important setting for my work.


What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

What I've observed in the last 30 years is a growing obsession with money, and an ever growing inequality between those that have wealth and the rest of society. I find this extremely sad, the finest experiences in life depend upon other things.