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Patricia Shone (October/November 2014)

1. What general skills & techniques do you use ? (eg., throwing etc.,) ?

I use combinations of hand building and throwing to produce the forms and textures in my work. I throw some of the textured boxes using the spin of the wheel to distort the clay. A slower technique is carving out the middle of a shaped and textured lump, which I then stretch  to distort the textures. I find this satisfies the urge to scrape endlessly. I like the freedom of natural textures in the clay combined with a tightness of form. The work is either raku fired earthenware or wood fired stoneware.

 

2. Tell us about your experience and knowledge

- Where have you studied and learnt your skills ? I studied at Central School of Art in London way back in the eighties. My slab rolling skills I learned later during 12 years as a chef making pastry. Latterly I have worked with Shozo Michikawa who has been a great influence on my current work. 

- How long have you been a potter - Not long enough

- Who has inspired you along the way - My first pottery teacher at school in Devon, Dave Tellam. Gordon Baldwin, for always finding positive aspects in my dreadful work as a student, Shozo and many, many generous potters along the way.

 

3. Please explain your work - Processes involved eg., clays used, firing range etc.

My favourite clay is Valentine’s ES40. It is such a forgiving body in both raku and wood firing, which I need, considering how stressed the clay becomes by the time I have finished with it.  I bisque fire to 1040ºC and raku fire to about 1000ºC. I use the same clay for wood firing along with the Svend Bayer body and also mixtures of the two. After a 900º bisque I fire for about 24 to 30 hours with pine, sometimes adding a little soda, and usually reaching cone 10 or 11.

 

4. What has been your proudest piece that you have produced and why ?

I was commissioned to make a simple raku fired stone to contain someone’s ashes. It was an honour to be entrusted with this task. In terms of my own creative development then one of my recent large raku fired dish forms.

 

5. What are your future ambitions ?

I want a better understanding of glazes in wood firing and I want to develop more freedom in the textures I am getting. And to go back to Japan as soon as possible.

 

View Patricia Shone's gallery

Visit their website: www.patriciashone.co.uk