Originally from Prague, I am a self-taught potter working from my home studio in Pembrokeshire, UK. My work is inspired by my natural surroundings and often includes materials collected locally which creates a sense of belonging. I like to create work which speaks of a particular place, capturing its essence. My other influences are traditional Japanese and Korean pottery. I throw pots on a momentum wheel, powered only by foot. I like its tranquility, natural rhythm and the slower speed. I also enjoy hand building. For decoration I layer slips, create patterns or carve into the pot surface. My glazes usually consist of wood ash, clay and stone. I also like to leave some clay bare to show the warm colours created by the path of flame.The materials I use are the key element to my practice together with the element of fire as means of transformation of clay into a permanent form. For this reason I have chosen to wood fire my work.
What craft do you work with?
I bought my first bag of clay seven years ago and started hand building tea bowls from observing Japanese potters online. Then I signed up for pottery evening classes and later a throwing course with a local potter. I started visiting two potter friends’ established studios, where I could observe and learn further before setting up my own studio at home.
I have been extensively researching and studying various aspects of ceramics from books and online resources, predominantly the technicalities of wood firing and formulating glazes from natural materials. I have also attended a few ceramic masterclasses.
What inspires you to work with this craft?
|I love working with natural materials and enjoy the elemental aspect of working with clay and wood firing.I think of making pottery as a creative mindful process, a form of meditation when hands centre the clay and the clay centres the mind.
How do you start your creative process?
|My creative process starts with observations of the natural surroundings on my walks, noticing textures and forms and collecting materials.I enjoy every part of the making process from collecting and processing materials, shaping clay into a form and decorating the surface. At the end the transformation of clay through wood firing feels like a sacred ritual closing each making cycle.The most difficult part of the making process is to have all the elements of the creative process come together in a well balanced final piece.
How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?
|I work from a small timber-frame studio adjacent to our house overlooking the Preseli Mountains. It was built by my husband with timber from his tree surgery work. It comprises of a small studio space heated by a log burner and it also houses my wood fired kiln and a wood store.I could not do without my kiln and momentum wheel. There are many other smaller tools and brushes I use all the time, lots of these are handmade.
Are there new techniques you would like to try?
|I would like to try making traditional Korean onggi pots.
What have you learnt or the best advice you have received that you would like to share with fellow crafters?
|Keep your eyes and mind open, observe and learn, it is an ongoing process.I think wood goes well with ceramics and I can imagine collaborating on a collection which would incorporate wooden elements or objects to complement my pottery.I would love to visit pottery studios in Japan and Korea.
Media & Contact
Freelancing: LU Ceramics
|Linda Unsworth – Brynberian, Pembrokeshire, UKTom Unsworth – Brynberian, Pembrokeshire, UKRhi Ellis – Gors Fawr stone circle, Pembrokeshire, UK
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