Brought up on a farm in Cardiganshire, Catrin Howell studied at Wolverhampton (1989-92). She has won a number of prizes for her work including a Fletcher Challenge Merit Award, New Zealand (1994) and the craft gold medal at the National Eisteddfod in 1999. In 2001 Ruthin Craft Centre produced a major touring exhibition of her work.
Modelled in T-material the piece is originally biscuit-fired in an electric kiln and then brushed with layers of oxides and glaze stains: barium, cobalt, chrome and copper to give the blue-green watery effect. Howell’s primordial dogs, a major theme in her work, derive from her evocation of Cantre’r Gwaelod, the Welsh legend of drowned villages under Cardigan Bay. The story tells of an accident where sea defence gates were left open and people, animals and whole villages were lost as the sea rushed in. Catrin Howell imagines the terrified dogs trying to support each other in desperate efforts to escape the rising flood waters.