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August 2013 Potter of the Month - Nick Williams

1. Where have you studied and learnt your skills?

I began at school then completed a Foundation in Art and Design course which was followed by a year working as a Ceramic technician in a School of Art. After gaining a  B.A. Hons. degree from the North Staffordshire Polytechnic I ran a ceramics studio and acted as a consultant for Podmore & Sons, producers of materials and equipment for potters, for 4 years.

 I am still honing my skills.

2. How long have you been a potter?

I have made pots for over 40 years and have been a self-employed professional potter since setting up my present studio at Consall Forge in 1983.

3. When it comes to your work what inspires you?

The studio is located alongside the Caldon canal at Consall Forge, an idyllic situation in the heart of the Consall Nature Reserve and R.S.P.B. sanctuary. I produce a comprehensive range of domestic stoneware specialising in teapots. There is a peace and tranquillity about the place that I mirror in the quiet colours and textures of my work. By working on small batches of each item I successfully blend repetition with individuality, maintaining a freshness and vitality of form that is often missing from production thrown ware.

4. What is your philosophy?

My philosophy for potting is to keep designs simple and to put great emphasis on craftsmanship and function. "Pots I make are mainly for use, why own a beautiful functional object and not experience the pleasure of using it for the purpose for which it was intended. My sculptural pieces should be used to obtain visual pleasure and to stimulate the mind"

5. Please explain your working process?

I work with Valentines HT stoneware clay and have done since 1983. I have always raw glazed and once fired my pots to a temperature of 1280°c in propane-fuelled kilns, currently the kiln in use is of a medium size (approximately 1.5 cubic metres), which I built in 2002. This has a catenary arch and two large burners operating on a downdraught system. Previously I worked with a larger kiln also built by myself that lasted over 15 years. I formulate my own glaze recipes and with combinations of oxides achieve a range of glazes complementary to my decorative techniques. I make most of my own tools and for impressed decoration carve wooden stamps.

6. What are your future ambitions?

Having previously sold work through the larger established UK Craft shows, I am always seeking exhibition/sales opportunities and developing studio based projects and sales. I look to broaden my horizons by taking part in Ceramics shows and Festivals in mainland Europe, so far I have sold work at major markets in Holland, France and Belgium.

 

The studio at Consall Forge generates sales to customers from all over the world. I am always willing to discuss commission work and have several pieces in private collections worldwide

View Nick Williams's gallery

Visit their website: www.4ateapot.co.uk