“I design and make small batch slipware in my Herefordshire studio Eastnor Pottery, near Ledbury. New designs include a series of kitchen and bathroom ware. They are created with function in mind.”
Sarah’s work is featuring in our bi-monthly display, so we took the opportunity to ask Sarah some questions about her inspiration and process.
“When making, my approach is relaxed and playful and I use pretty much every studio pottery technique going. The potter’s wheel allows fluidity, a quality I love in ceramics.”
“My latest obsession is soap dishes. After ditching the use of plastic at home, I turned to using solid shampoo and soap bars. Originally making one for my own bathroom, I now make them in all shapes and sizes to sell globally. Some are mini colanders (for nice chunky soap), some are round dishes, others are boxes with little feet. I’m constantly re-developing them with endless possibilities for design.
When making, my approach is relaxed and playful and I use pretty much every studio pottery technique going. The potter’s wheel allows fluidity, a quality I love in ceramics. Recently I’ve been throwing fresh shapes and whilst fresh off the wheel, squeezing and thinning out the surface. This subtly alters the original form and gives it a lovely patinated surface- turning a thrown pot into a pinch pot. The result is very organic looking.
When slabbing and press molding, I use very soft clay, squeezing and joining together with my fingertips.
I enjoy the inherent qualities of slipware. White slip brushed over terracotta is the perfect surface for sgrafitto. I work quickly, scratching into it with simple doodles and scribbles. I finish off with a fun session splattering coloured slips with a paint brush. I place several pieces on a board at the same time and just go for it! Occasionally I miss and prefer what’s landed on the board!! My work is all about mark making and building up layers of colour, one piece could have up to 5 or 6 layers.
I finish off my pieces with a clear lead-free earthenware glaze. This makes them smooth to touch and durable for everyday use.
As well as designing and making, I collaborate with my husband and fellow potter, Jon Williams to offer pottery experiences from our studio at Eastnor Pottery. These are creative short courses and workshops and available all year round.