Henry Taylor (Loveday, 2012) has received recognition from Cambridge International Examinations to acknowledge his outstanding performance, achieving D1 in Fine Art (Ceramics) Pre-U in the June 2012 examination series. The D1 grade for the very best of Cambridge Pre-U’s Distinction candidates is awarded where senior examiners judge that the defining characteristic of the script is academic excellence. The D3 grade is considered equivalent to an A at A2-level, whilst the D2 is equivalent to an A* at A2.

In achieving this grade Henry has therefore demonstrated academic flair, subject confidence and expertise. Mrs Wendy Yates, head of Ceramics at Cranleigh, remarked: “this achievement recognises the talent, dedication and commitment of Henry and the staff. Undoubtedly the wonderful new facilities at Cranleigh matched with teaching by specialists were contributory factors; however, Henry showed an interest in ceramics from the first day he had worked with clay and was able to develop his knowledge and skills initially over two years at GCSE level followed by a further two years at Pre-U.” The benefit of Pre-U is the opportunity to spend a whole year experimenting before developing a project in the second year. Henry’s work is unique, a large installation 8ft by 6ft and 7 ft tall. Entitled ‘A gentleman’s boudoir,’ this inspirational installation was based on many artists and their styles including ‘Hundertwasser’ and ‘Gaudi’.

Firing a range of ceramic tiles, Henry also created porcelain light-shades using textiles dipped in porcelain slip, resulting in thin and translucent shades with subtly changing mood-lighting inside. Mirrors have been used to reflect surfaces creating interesting illusions of space and he made the glass windows fusing glass, adding colour and including metals between sheets. There really are no words to describe this piece, which is accompanied by a detailed account of his journey in sketch books with technical experimentation tirelessly recorded along with relevant research and a 3,500 word dissertation on ‘the nature of clay.