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Potter of the Month (July - Sept 19) - Sally Dunham

1. What general skills & techniques do you use? (e.g. throwing etc)


All my work is individually handbuilt from thin slabs of clay. Occasionally I also use coiling to create vessels for my figures.

 

2a. Tell us a bit about your experience and knowledge:

  

My love for art started right from a young child I would spend hours creating models from fimo and fabric. My first real introduction to clay came when I started Sixth Form College in Cambridge and was given a choice of media 

in which to specialise. As soon as I touched clay I was hooked. I remember carving into a block of clay to create my first figure, and my wonderful teacher, Neil, saying to me, "Remember, the figure is in there, you just have to discover it". This has always stayed with me. When I started my Degree course at the University of Wolverhampton, I spent two years experimenting with a range of techniques. Towards the end of my second year and the duration of my third year, my current style began to evolve and continues to develop to this day.

 

b. How long have you been a potter

 

I am currently in my 21st year as a potter, having set up my business when I graduated.

 

c. Who has inspired you along your path

 

Many things have inspired me and continue to inspire me. I am often inspired by ‘people watching’, just observing how people go about their daily lives and interact with others. With my Mister Herbert range, i will often have inspiration as i am drifting off to sleep and have to jump up and make a quick sketch. Several of the ideas for the ‘uplifting’ pieces have come to me whilst practising yoga! Often conversations inspire new thought processes and ideas, maybe a saying or a passing remark. A big early influence on me was the work of Rodin. I clearly remember visiting the Rodin museum on a sixth form trip to Paris and being totally mesmerised and blown away by his work. I had studied it on books and seen some pieces before, but that trip to his museum had a huge impact on me.

 

3. Explain your work 

 

 Processes involved e.g. clays used, firing range etc 

 

I enjoy all aspects of my work for different reasons. i love the challenge of my more complex pieces particularly concentrating capturing something in a realistic way or creating a difficult pose, that maybe shouldn’t balance, but I also enjoy letting my imagination run wild dreaming of new adventures for Mister Herbert. I love how the character I have created come go on limitless adventures from mystical, to driving a camper van, flying on a dragon or surrounded by words to provide feeling or uplift the viewer. My intention with my work is to be thought provoking, provide a sense of calm and to make people smile!

I am very proud that I now have 4 limited edition bronzes, this was a big ambition of mine for a long time. My most recent bronze features a male and female hand connected by the remains of a fraying rope, portraying that we should never give up. I create my bronze pieces in clay, but deliver them to a foundry in Birmingham before firing to be moulded and cast. 

recently , i have been lucky to be able to work with some 200-400 year old shipwreck timber as mounts for some work. The shear beauty of this timber and the stories it holds have inspired several new pieces and the timber offsets them beautifully.

  

 

What are your future ambitions?

 

I am continually inspired and work work is always evolving. I hope to continue to create for many, many more years. I would like to continue to add to my collection of bronzes. I opened my studio gallery at home in 2014 and it is lovely to have a permanent base to show customers my work, but one day I would love to open a large gallery where I can also run workshops from.

 

 

 

Sally Dunham

Email: enquiries@sallydunham.co.uk

Website: http://www.sallydunham.co.uk/ 

View Sally Dunham 's gallery

Visit their website: www.sallydunham.co.uk