Detail 2 of Blue Sgraffito Jug by Joanna Oliver

Ceramics

Joanna Oliver

Joanna Oliver:

‘I started my life as a potter at Standpoint Studios in Hoxton under the guidance of Nicola Tassie, later setting up my own studio in South Oxfordshire.

My workday starts with blowing the inevitable layer of dust off the ipod, putting on overalls and wedging the clay. It never ceases to amaze me the magic of being able to create something beautiful (hopefully) from a ball of mud. Perhaps this is only beaten by the moment you open the kiln after a glaze firing to see all the glistening hot bowls inside. Just like opening a treasure chest.

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There’s real alchemy involved with glazing, the unfired glaze bearing no comparison to the fired one. Glaze recipes are generously shared between potters – many that I use are oriental and have been used for hundreds of years. I particularly like ash glazes and that involved gathering certain wood types from the countryside around us and then reducing them to ash in our stove. Washed and sieved they become an all important ingredient.

I work in various stonewares and porcelain and the results, I hope, are practical, lovely to use and pleasing to look at. My stoneware is fired to1250 degrees making it safe to use in a domestic oven or microwave. It’s fine in the dishwasher too.’

Read more about Joanna Oliver here

Joanna Oliver

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