It’s quite a big thing for me let go of a style of pottery that is still selling well and leap into new territory! But I feel I have taken my current collection as far as I want to and the time is right to begin something totally new. My new journey started today…
I’ve known for a few years that my next collection would involve finding clay and glaze ingredients in my local environment, the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. This grew from:
- remembering the magic of digging clay as a child in a neighbouring friends garden and making pinch pots that dried in the sun.
- a reaction against the ceramics industry’s use of plastics to store clay and glaze ingredients and also the transportation of these materials all over the world.
- having a studio surrounded by clay pits which contain Ball Clay (a rare clay apparently only found in two other areas of the UK), which Wedgwood used for his pottery.
- living in a landscape rich in ancient history, inhabited by settlers who gathered raw materials from the earth to make pottery. I love the fact that clay was a necessary part of ancient culture and where they settled depended on it.
- living in an area with a huge but mostly forgotten clay heritage ranging from clay pipe manufacturing to brick works.
- needing a challenge – I thrive on learning new things – researching where and how to find raw materials will take a lots of learning combined with possibly months of gathering and testing to arrive at a final conclusion.
- an overwhelming urge to connect more with the landscape and what it has to offer.
I have absolutely no idea what form my new work will take which is terrifying! Can I even create new work that I enjoy making and people will like? Who knows?!
Throughout this project I’ll be keeping a diary of thoughts, details of research and experiments and presenting them in a blog containing words, photos and video. So if you’re interested in my hand dug and locally sourced glaze journey ( I should think of a collection title!) please walk this way…