Monthly Archives: August 2014

Charlotte Storrs – Ceramics

I love being able to create useable objects from lumps of clay. The throwing part is for me the most exciting. Throwing pots on the wheel is magical.

I make functional stoneware. New ideas for work arrive steadily. There are so many items which can be made on the wheel, you just need to look around you at the objects people use on a daily basis. Sometimes family members and friends come up with suggestions, always gratefully received! I will then go to the wheel and try it out, giving my own take on it.

I get inspiration from natural materials and organic food. My pottery is in our beautiful  garden with greenhouse, raised veg beds, away from traffic and noise. It is a very inspiring place to work in. I love to see a table laid with handmade bowls and plates, as opposed to impersonal factorymade items. Food can be so colourful and stands out beautifully against any white or muted glaze. Salad in salad bowls, roasted vegetables in large dishes, soup in white bowls, all a feast for the eye. Organic vegetables in buckets, fruit juices in jugs, pasta in pasta bowls….my whole range is meant to be used.

As I make functional stoneware there is no need to continually come up with new ideas. It can be equally satisfactory to make 50 coffee cups or a one off vase or dish. The thought that someone somewhere will be using what I have created gives me a real buzz.

 

 I joined an evening class in ceramics when I moved from the Netherlands to the UK years ago. I got hooked, but when our children came along I had to give it up. I was working as a music teacher and there were not enough hours in the day to indulge in hobbies. Family came definitely first. When our youngest son left home to go to university I decided to go back to College, became addicted to throwing on the wheel and set up the pottery a few months later.  I have not looked back since. There is a steady flow of orders, either for shops and galleries, or on line. There are times I have to turn orders down when too large as I remain a one man band and do not intend to employ assistants.

 

Being an artist is a very good and important part of my life. I feel totally at home in my pottery and can work well on my own. It is so good for the soul to be creative at any stage in life. I occasionally have Pottery Open Days when I assist people to “have a go” at throwing a pot on the wheel (donations to a third world charity). It is great to see how much enthusiasm there is for these events and how inspired children or adults are when working with clay.


 Being a potter is my 3rdcareer. I briefly worked as a translator, then became a musician (violin and viola), now also a potter.Marketing and selling can be an equally creative process; it is part of being self employed.

 

Any creative job, whether in art, music, theatre, dance is a tough one. But people should follow their hearts and try to make it work. It might mean taking on extra work of a different nature to pay the bills, but so be it.

 

Even though I would love to learn new skills, I do not have enough time as it is! I enjoy all the things I do and would love to have more time to try out different glazes, play chamber music, work in the garden, read, cook, see friends, go for walks etc. I do not feel the need to take on another skill.  My studio space is crucial to my work; it is in an ideal location.

 

Jo Pethybridge – Ceramics

I love working with clay, using both of my hands together. Colour, patterns and nature are also very important to me so to be able to combine all these factors in my art is a great creative driver.

 

I find things that interest me while travelling, walking or in my surroundings, e.g. vineyards, bed mattress springs, pine forests, waves. I take photographs or sketch them. Later I make drawings from them working them into patterns, which I then draw onto my ceramic pieces. These are then painted and glazed.

 

I never regard my pieces as ‘work’ as I get so much pleasure from making them. I have never been tempted to move into probably more lucrative functional pottery as I like to view each piece as an individual one inspired by my latest experiences.

My problem is I have too many ideas and as each piece takes time to complete I have to store some ideas for later. I do often revisit themes to evolve them.

 

While I was working as a therapist and manager being an artist needed to come second, but over the years I have been making ceramics it has become increasingly important to me. Since retiring in 2010 I have been able to concentrate on my art, which has been wonderful. Some of my earliest memories though were of making mud pies in the garden!

 

Art has always been very therapeutic for me, after a hard day at the office it was a great stress buster. It is also very grounding and relaxing.

In my type of ceramics no two pieces are the same, although I do repeat ideas and patterns if I like them but often using different colours.

Because I was working and married I did not need to earn a living from my art, which gave me great freedom in the type of work I was ablre to do. I do find the process of selling and marketing a challenging process. I have enjoyed doing this with other artists in art societies and open house groups.

Art like music I feel will always be present in the world. Art is a good way to express feelings and can be a record of the times.

 

My studio is in the attic ,which has excellent light which is important when making ceramics and plenty of space to store and dry pieces. The only disadvantage is carrying clay stored in the basement up 4 flights of stairs, but it keeps me fit. Painting my pieces can be done anywhere preferably in a comfortable chair with good lighting.