Michelle makes a range of fun slipware pottery which is made to be used. She throws her work on a wheel using red earthenware clay and decorates it with traditional sliptrailing techniques. The slip (coloured liquid clay) is poured, trailed and brushed onto the pots. They are then dipped in transparent glaze and fired to 1130°C. Michelle shared her first damp cold workshop with lots of happy frogs. The frogs still appear on her pots but she now works from a warm dry space at her home in Edinburgh. She welcomes commissions and her workshop can be visited by appointment.
Most of my work is thrown on the potters wheel, I enjoy the feel of the clay running through my fingers, the rhythm and the quiet contemplation. I decorated each piece using the technique of sgraffito: by dipping them into a contrasting coloured slip and scratching through to reveal the white clay body underneath. Inspiration comes from nature, the simplicity of Scandinavian design and the textiles of the 1950’s. Clay is my passion. Marks made in seconds can survive thousands of years.
I’ve loved clay for as long as I can remember – making pots makes me happy, and I enjoy sharing that pleasure. I make pots to be handled and used, that each has their own story. A big inspiration to me has been the places I have been lucky enough to travel to, in particular Japan. My first trip there was an inspirational experience; it led to a complete change in my perspective and the start of a mad spate of kiln building when I got home. Having previously been an earthenware potter, I saw Shino and Oribe pottery as if for the first time and realised that I needed to fire high and preferably with a dirty flame. I used subsequent trips to explore flea markets and was fortunate to be invited to a traditional tea ceremony. These experiences lit a fire in my belly; I encountered the concept of Wabi Sabi and it all helped me to crystallise my ideas on ways of making objects. In my work, my hope is to have individuality and timelessness. I want to make honest and fresh pieces which speak of the processes which I enjoy.
Peter trained at Manchester Polytechnic (1969 – 1973), gaining First Hons Dip AD 3D Design and discovering his passion for working with clay. Peter’s early work consisted mainly of 3D built pieces, many incorporating figures influenced by the paintings of Egon Schiele, but in the 1990s he developed an interest in the tube lining decorative technique used in late 19th and early 20th century tile making. In the early 2000s Peter began to translate his tile designs into 3D work on thrown earthenware pots. The majority of his pieces are now thrown bowls, vases and plates but he also occasionally produces panels using commercially made bisque tiles as a base and, less frequently, some slab built items. Having relocated from Staffordshire in early 2011, he now works from his studio at home in Whithorn in the beautiful Machars area of Dumfries and Galloway.
Rob is a potter living and working in the beautiful Scottish Borders. All of his ceramics are hand-built and utilise the technique of coiling, which involves building a pot layer by layer. His influences are grounded in nature, from deciduous woodland to fossil encrushed pebbles. The forms carved on the surface of the pots are influenced by the patterns of nature be it the annual growth rings of lichens, ripples in water or the raked gravel oceans and rivers of the Zen Buddist dry gardens of Japan.
Ceramic and Wool Artist
I spent many years studying and exploring ceramics, but the moment i started experimenting with wool, i was hooked. It’s a lovely natural material to work with and i’m particularly drawn to its textural and sculptural qualities. I use a process called needle felting to create my birds and beasts. I use a special needle with tiny notches that catches and binds the fibres together. Each piece is sculpted by hand and takes hours to make.
E l l a c a r t e is owned and operated by Ella Noble, an Honours Graduate from Dundee. She produces hand-thrown ceramics, hand-crafted greetings cards and gift tags to suit all occasions (characteristically incorporating ceramic motifts), wedding stationery, business stationery, graphics and signwork.