I make pots with red earthenware, decorated with coloured slips and rich glossy glazes.
Clay has determined my life
path for almost twenty-five years. An obsession that began, when I discovered
the material’s seductive properties as a student, implanted a passion for clay,
which from that moment has never waned. It is my life, my driving force, the
very thing I think of from the moment I wake, and it is on my mind as I fall
sleep. I am a potter, but it isn’t my job, it is my very being.It was clay that brought me
to South West Scotland to undertake an apprenticeship at the beginning of this
century and it is clay that has created the opportunities for me to travel the
world with my work ever since.The essential elements of
my work come from my love of pots with a purpose, pots for use in the home, and
while preserving functionality is of paramount importance to me, I explore my
own distinctive approach to decoration. A jug might suggest it be a vessel for
holding liquid, but may also be brought into the home, simply because it is a
thing of beauty.I draw influence from the
ancient British folk heritage of country pottery, whose makers demonstrated
extraordinary, intuitive skill, a high benchmark to which I aspire. Tradition
develops and moves forward and my work references classical form, however it
embraces contemporary style, ensuring that it is not simply a pastiche, but
very much ‘of our time’.Throughout my eighteen-year
career I have honed the finest of traditional craft skills, experience and
practice allowing me to draw freehand, accurately composed designs in slip,
that fit comfortably on well considered and balanced forms.Slip is a beautiful
material and there are few things more glorious than a freshly slipped pot. It
is an alluring process. The journey is important to me, from the clay on the
wheel, the delicious wet slip while decorating, to the challenges of the
My work has been
particularly well received in the United States, where I have been invited to
deliver workshops and lectures, as well as exhibit at several prestigious
venues. Japan too is a prolific marketplace and my work is represented in the
Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art. I feel particularly flattered by this and I am
proud to be a representative for our country in the field of ceramics overseas.
What craft do you work with?
|I work with clay, mainly thrown on the wheel but also slab built forms occasionally. My passion is for decorating with trailed slips onto the pieces. I have been working as a self employed potter since 2003.|
What inspires you to work with this craft?
|I stumbled across ceramics at university and the material and the tutor spoke directly to me. It just suddenly felt right. I am particularly inspired by the slipwares of 17th and 18th Century Staffordshire.|
How do you start your creative process?
|I enjoy all parts of the making process, when I am throwing, that is the part that Iove, when I am decorating it is that part.|
How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?
|I work alongside my husband, Douglas Fitch, from a workshop in our garden at home. It’s a work in progress, built bit by bit as we can afford it.|
Are there new techniques you would like to try?
|I am looking forward to learning some of the skills of large pot making.|
What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?
My key message to all the
students who have passed through my workshop is that to excel at a craft
requires absolute dedication. For me, this is a commitment for life.
Media & Contact
Company: Hannah McAndrew
Facebook: Fitch & McAndrew, Slipware Potters
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