STUDIO & GALLERY

Visiting the Pottery Studio and Gallery

The Pottery Studio and Gallery are located on the western edge of the ancient North Devon village of Chittlehampton – an attractive village about five miles west of South Molton, just off the B3227.

South Molton is easily reached via junction 27 of the M5 – from Bristol.  If you are travelling north from the cathedral City of Exeter to the south, turn off the A377 (Exeter to Barnstaple) at the village of Umberleigh toward South Molton on the B3227.  After 2 miles the sign for Chittlehampton is on your left.  Every turning is well signed. It really is easy to find us.

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Our usual opening hours are:

Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm and 2.15pm – 5pm

It is advisable to ring before making a visit – especially if travelling some distance. We are also sometimes open at weekends, or can do so on request.  We live nearby – so should you find it closed, then do try the number shown on the sign at the entrance.  We may be home and would be happy to open the showroom for you.

If you visit the studios you may be able to see the work in one of the stages of making.

My observations result in various vessel forms, often quite large, sometimes incised and involving modelling and painting.  I use several sponged layers of vitreous slips and various matt and gloss glazes. These often bleed up through one another during the firing to give a strong sense of depth to the surface. Sometimes gold, platinum or other coloured lustres are then used to suggest the play of light on a surface. Should you visit, I may be throwing, painting pots – or even firing the kiln.

kiln

All the ware is fired slowly to a high temperature where the flames can strongly affect the melting glazes.

In the later stages of the firing the kiln is slightly starved of oxygen and this radically affects the colours produced. During this ‘reducing’ phase, the kiln is allowed to reach more than 1300 degrees centigrade, with flames emerging from every crack in the structure. It is actually quite a dramatic and exciting time.

Basically, I am attempting to ‘steer’ the forces rather than controlling them, to achieve an impression of the heat and flames when one sees the result. Conversely, the cooling phase is very slow and cannot be rushed.

Recent work includes new forms in porcelain and in stoneware clay and presently includes a strong focus on impressions of the water itself, eg ripples on the surface of a pool, or the violent power of the  sea surf, waves etc. A softer look is also slowly appearing in all the work.