Sit’s nicely in the palm this one. Love the markings produced by smoke permeating the layers of clay resist.
A family of ceramic snails rocking out across the studio floor.
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These garden sculptures were exhibited at the amazing Sculpture at Kingham Lodge 1-9 May 2021.
This gnarly ‘ol slab of oak has been gently decaying in the Pottery garden for the last 10 years or so.
It was initially used to display several of my discovery pots – lidded, thrown cylinders containing fresh clay and a note encouraging the ‘discoverer’ to make something and leave it in the pot. Little creativity traps! A few days later, I collected the models, took them back to the Pottery, fired them and exhibited the results online.
The elements and time have worked their magic on the wood and I adore the range of texture and colour of the decomposing timber.
These thorny sticks of charcoal are an inspiring bi-product of recent smoke firing and sagger experiments.
They originated as garden waste, pruned from my father in law’s rose bush and contributed to the marks and effects on this little pot.
I’m marveling at the texture and shape of the charred, blackened twigs and excited by the possibilities of using them in my work.
As we head into Spring, I thought I’d share a few photographs taken on our winter commute!
Our home and studio are separated by a 20 minute walk and there is nothing better to start our day than with a stroll to the Pottery through Eastnor deer park. The countryside here is so beautiful and the seasonal changes offer constant inspiration.
Somewhere in this blackened sagger is a little burnt offering in need of wire wool & wax tlc!
Although I’m a thrower, I do enjoy the challenge of working with other pottery techniques.
These slabbed constructions are ceramic bases, designed to support a sculpture on a metal rod. That said, I reckon they look pretty cool as stand alone pieces. I particularly enjoy the potential for geometric pattern making when the bases are lined up in groups.
It’s amazing how a terracotta pot can survive outside in the garden for decades. Season after season it is resilient against the very worst the British Winter can hurl at it. And then, all of a sudden, it quite literally falls to pieces.
Frost damage occurs when water, absorbed into the ceramic wall freezes and expands. The force is strong enough to ‘spit out’ little chunks leaving the surface pot marked. Sometimes the force is strong enough to crack the vessel in two!
This button planter made by myself in the 1990’s with all it’s applied half spheres, lived happily and in tact, in the garden here at Eastnor pottery. Then out of the blue, quite recently, after a particularly wet and cold period, the planter shed all it’s buttons.
I can only deduce that the days of persistent rain had penetrated and saturated the pot. Under normal circumstances the pot would dry naturally, minimising the effect of the freezing water. On this occasion the sudden, plunging temperatures shortly after the deluge was sufficient to reek havoc. The conditions were spot on – a perfect storm!
I like the effect though – The area beneath the buttons resisted the lichen patina. When the buttons popped off, they left a satisfying terracotta polka dot pattern. Nature is the best artist!
Our studio Eastnor Pottery looking beautiful in the January snow.
I share the space with my wife and fellow potter Sarah Monk. When we’re not working on our own designs, we entertain thousands of aspiring potters on our short classes and weekend courses.You can do an hour and a half, full day or weekend on the potter’s wheel – we have something for everyone and the rural tranquility of Eastnor makes for the perfect creative break.
Although we are currently closed during lockdown, you can book a Spring or Summer pottery experience online. Just visit our website and click on one of the orange buttons.
Over the years I’ve collaborated with many talented and creative photographers to document my ceramics and social engagement practice. My current go to professional is George Nash AKA Beyond The Beaten Path.
George is communicative, super efficient and fun to work with. Can’t rate his photography and video making highly enough.
Love these ‘artist in the studio’ portraits George took a little while ago.