Original Bob is Dawn Griffin.
Whilst studying for her Physiotherapy degree in Newcastle Dawn started to develop an interest in art history and art. The images of the impressionists started the journey. In 1992 Dawn qualified from University with a Physiotherapy Bsc. and moved briefly to Coventry until moving to London in the mid nineties.
Dawn attended evening classes in 3D and design, working on wood carving and plaster. After a few years of physiotherapy working with head injuries, stroke and spinal injured persons Dawn wanted to spend time on developing her artistic side before she got too old. Her sculptures got her into Camberwell College of Art where she studied Fine Art and Design followed by another part time course in Fine art at the same time as studying pottery.
“In the early days my work focused very much on stimulating all the senses, visual, auditory, touch, not so much on smell though. I made large installations out of tissue paper. Tissue paper is great to work with it has very sculptural qualities and it moves easily when people pass by” I could really bleat on about tissue paper I worked with it a lot”
“I have always been interested in the effect of time on an object whether one is considering weathering or erosion on a surface or even urban erosion like on huge bill boards, how the paper rips and dissolves yet a memory is still left behind.”
Having secured a studio in Hackney she worked on transcribing images onto canvas , oil painting and embroidering.
The arrival of her son in 2000 returned her to the real world of Physiotherapy.
In 2002 she returned to Leeds, working more than full time hours and being a mum did not leave a lot of time for crafting but as a way of relaxing she would make things in felt and knit or crochet. She was also studying on an evening on a Postgraduate Certificate in rehabilitation.
She returned to pottery about ten years ago and started to really concentrate on clay as a medium. “I have been inspired by Barbara Hepworth for years and fascinated by some of her amazing sculptures also she was quite mature when she settled down to do her Art”
“I love the tactility of clay especially when it's just going beyond leather hard and you can burnish it. Its a great medium to work with . You can do so much with it”
Currently she works primarily with White Stoneware but she's partial to working with rough Raku. “I glaze or smoke fire my Bobs. Bobs are the name of the globe heads I make. A friend's daughter named them Bobs and the name stuck. Hence the name Original Bob” .As well as making the Bobs Dawn likes to experiment with clay and make other items too. “I just wish there were more hours in the day or that I had more hands.”.
She left her job in January 2013 to spend more time with my daughter before she started school. When she started school in September I decided it was the perfect opportunity to really focus on art and design as a career.
“I feel a little odd about speaking so much about how my work (physio) as interwoven with my art through the years but I don't think I would have developed along the same path without it. Who knows that though. I think I will always be fascinated by how things move and evolve and what memory is retained that is why clay is so perfect for me”.