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Potter of the Month (June/July 16) - James Oughtibridge

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

My sculptures are predominantly slab constructed using curved sections of clay which are initially pressed into huge plaster moulds to create the curves. I have a large slab roller which I purchased from the US which has been an invaluable tool for my making methods.

 

2. Tell us about your experience and knowledge:

Where have you studied and learnt your skills? 
I was first introduced to clay back in 1995 on an Art Foundation course in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.  Having never done it at school I was fascinated with how it could be turned into large scale sculptural forms.  Our tutor was the world renowned Raku potter David Roberts who saw I had a natural flare for it and was very encouraging.  I gained a place at Loughborough College to do a degree in Ceramics for which I gained a first class honours degree.  I then went straight on to the Royal College of Art where I graduated in 2001.


How long have you been a potter?
I have been producing, exhibiting and selling my work since 2001.

Who has inspired you along the way? 
One of my biggest inspirations has been David Roberts who I’m good friends with today and lives just around the corner.  He introduced me to clay on my art Foundation course when I was 17!  Martin Smith, Alison Britton, Dave Scott, Jim Gladwin and Emmanuel Cooper were all big influences throughout my time at Loughborough and the RCA.

3. Explain your work:

Processes involved eg., clays used, firing range etc.
I use a combination of slabbing and press moulding usually on a large scale.  I use a mixture of Valentine clays including PF520 (Ashraf Hanna) and the black clay bodies (PF 670 & PF 680). I fire to between 1100 degrees and 1220.  My work has grown in scale over the years having the benefit of large industrial electric kilns in our studios. I enjoy the physicality of the making and the challenges that arise when working big.

What has been your proudest piece that you have produced and why?
My greatest achievements I suppose are surviving and graduating from the RCA which was extremely challenging and more recently being approached and commissioned by Pinewood Studios to create some large scale pieces for Spectre which has to be my biggest achievement and claim to fame!


4. What are your future ambitions?

In September I will be going on an exciting residency with my colleague Brendan Hesmondhalgh to develop some sculptures on a massive scale.  We have created strong links with a huge industrial clay pipe manufacturer near our studios and their kilns are massive!  It will mean no more tape measures to see if our work will fit in the kilns!

Watch James as he demonstrates his skills at Ceramic Art York 2015 
(please be aware that the sound quality is quite poor and is better watched wearing headphones).

 

View James Oughtibridge's gallery

Visit their website: www.jamesoughtibridgesculpture.co.uk