Pottery is the craft of making ceramic material into pots or potterywares using mud. Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic date back to 29,000–25,000 BC, and pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, China, which date back to 18,000 BC.
Pottery brings huge satisfaction to its maker. The art is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing; however, prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping, it is dried and then fired.
Potters build vessels for many different purposes. Professionals building to exhibit and sell to the public. Students to completing degrees, ceramic studios in the UK have been subject to huge cuts over the past ten years by the government, with few studios left in the country. As well as ammiteaur (can’t spell this!) who wish to develop a hobby, learn a new skill and ultimately produce tablewear and gifts for themselves family and friends, having fun and meeting people in the process.
Health benefits of Pottery
Increase optimistic outlook
Exploring and experimentation
Exercises the hands, wrists, and arms
Encourage sociability .
A natural pain killer
Improve quality of life
Lucy has been fortunate enough to spend her working career at internationally renowned art institutions; Christies, Tate Gallery and The Serpentine Galleries. During her five years at Christies auction house with international private clients across multiple sale categories; ceramics, antiquities, C20th Design, Modern Masters and Contemporary Art. Lucy studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and continues to study excepting a place at The Attingham Trust, Royal Collection.
Throughout Lucy’s career she has developed artists. With Hans Ulrich Olbrist, art curator, critic and historian of art and artistic director at the Serpentine Galleries she produced shows for dazzling contemporary ceramic artist Betty Woodman and the Haas Brothers. Others artists include Prem Sahib, Henry Moore, Prince Rostislav Romanov and Rachel Whiteread.
Lucy has been practicing pottery at Dartmouth Pottery Studio for the past seven years and currently works at The Kiln Rooms in Peckham.