A new journey begins…

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:

  1. remembering the magic of digging clay as a child in a neighbouring friends garden and making pinch pots that dried in the sun.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. living in an area with a huge but mostly forgotten clay heritage ranging from clay pipe manufacturing to brick works.
  6. 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.
  7. 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…

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