Article in Clay Craft Magazine Issue 40

Article in Clay Craft Magazine Issue 40

 

 

Lovely article in Clay Craft Magazine!

Ceramic journalist Paul Bailey writes about how I got into ceramics and the current everyday running of my Herefordshire studio. Paul delves into the courses and workshops and the inspiration behind my most recent designs.

Clay Craft Magazine is jam packed full of inspiration for potters as well as providing simple projects for all abilities. Such a lovely vibrant magazine!

Thank you Clay Craft and a big thank you to Paul for writing it!

You can find my proflie article in Issue 40 and it’s titled ‘Surrounded By Ceramics’.

 

 

slipware cup handmade spoon and biscuit plate by sarah monk ceramics plus clay craft magazine font cover
holding a slipware cup with tea inside and holding magazine article
scribble hand thrown teapot by sarah monk ceramic

When I recieved my copy, I settled down in the corner of my studio with a nice cup of tea, a few biscuits and had a good read!

I have now ordered a subsription and look forward to receiving it regularly!

Time for teapots!

Time for teapots!

 

 

Teapots are the ultimate pottery skills challenge…. I must say, I have a love hate relationship with the processes involoved! The prospect of making another teapot is always exciting but, they take a long time and it’s a balancing act. The different componants must fit together perfectly. As the first picture below illustrates, there’s a spout, the main body and a lid, these are all hand thrown as seperate componants. A hole is cut out  and the spout attached. Lastly it needs a handle. All of these bits and pieces need to be placed correctley. It’s really important for a teapot that pours well, is comfortable to hold and look fab!

hand thrown teapots at the assembling stage wheel thrown by sarah monk ceramics
slipware teapot with fruit lid by sarah monk ceramics
scribble hand thrown teapot by sarah monk ceramic

Once all parts are assembled and I’m satisfied it will feel good my attention turns to the character of my teapot. Teapot making gives me a great oppotunity to have fun. I look at the teapot from all angles, taking into consideration it’s shape and size. My most recent designs have splashes and splatters of colour and lively sgrafitto drawing. Designing a lid is most special, just like putting a topper on a wedding cake! The finishing touch.

My first set of teapot designs were bright yellow! (see below) I have made quite a few querky teapots over the years. They’ve have ended up in lifestyle magazines, ceramics books and museum collections.

yellow earthenware teapot with red fruit design made by sarah monk 1995
yellow pottery teapot with green bugs hand thrown and decorated by sarah monk ceramics
Slipware hand thrown teapot & teacups by studio potter sarah monk made at her pottery studio eastnor pottery ledbury herefordshire

Featured in this blog are my most recent designs. Teapots just like these can be found in my online shop. I only make 2 or 3 a year and they go very quickly!

Contemporary Ceramics Centre

Contemporary Ceramics Centre

Throwback to June 2018, I was dragging a suitcase of my most recent slipware across London…

Contemporary Ceramics Centre  had invited me to exhibit and I was excited to meet the staff again. ‘Ceramics Centre’, as it’s also known, is run by the Craft potters Association (CPA) of which I have been a member for over twenty years.  It’s the only retail gallery in the whole of London that specialises in British Studio Ceramics.

 

sarah monk delivering her work to contemporary ceramics centre with a wheelie suitcase
a selection of sarah monk ceramics on a display table at contemporary ceramics centre
official logo of the craft potters association of great britain

I was taking part in the makers rotation, which changes every three months. This is such a great idea as there is an ever changing selection of work by CPA members.  It was a great opportunity for me to showcase and develope a whole new range of breakfast ware that I had been developing. I wrote all about it on the Contemporary Ceramics blogspot.

Here are a few pieces I selected to send at the time!

Photo credit: Kirsty Pye

slipware hand thrown slipware cheese dish with cheese and fruit
hand thrown slipware colander bowl with fresh peaches plus a slipware pottery spoon oin blue and white
a stack of three slipware bowls in white and terracotta slipware with some fresh radishes

I have been invited back January 2021. It’s a fab gallery with longstanding, friendly & very knowledgeable staff, it’s well worth a visit! The Gallery is opposite The British Museum on Russel Street!!

They can be found on Instagram Facebook & Twitter

 

HeyClay 2020

HeyClay 2020

This is the time of year when Eastnor Pottery is usually gearing up for HeyClay, a natioanal event organised and promoted by the Crafts Council  and Get Creative UK.  Last year we ran three days worth of FREE potter’s wheel classes, it was really popular and we were full to the rafters! This year is rather different of course. So, as an alternative solution, HeyClay has become an online event #GetCreativeAtHome . Me & Jon are  delighted it’s still going ahead, seeing it’s the 6th time we have taken part (so it’s very much part of our yearly calender). We’ll be hosting live tutorials, studio tours and insights into our making across our Eastnor Pottery social media platforms. I’m doing a live stream about how I make a slipware  slab built soap dish too!  HeyClay 2020 is running from the 15th -17th May

Emerging Potters Magazine.

Emerging Potters Magazine.

I’ve been featured in a lovely online magazine! It’s called Emerging Potters and contains 35 pages of ceramic artists, gallery news and book reviews. Paul Bailey, the editor asked me six questions: how I got into ceramics, a bit about Eastnor Pottery, my influences, where I sell, how do I use social media and my observations of how pottery has changed in the last 5 years. Paul has put my answers into a beautifully wriiten three page article.

The feature can be found in the April to June copy,  Issue 14 . The magazine is produced quarterly on the ISSUU platform. Paul is very happy to send a copy if you email: paulbailey123@googlemail.com

You can also follow Emerging Potters on  Instagram here!

Paul has also asked for some extra  images of my work  to write an article for Clay Craft Magazine. Thanks Paul!!!!

Slipware Studio Pottery

Slipware Studio Pottery

I’m really into making slipware. I use terracotta clay because it has a deep, rich depth of colour and is a dream to throw with. It feels like melting chocolate through my fingertips. 

I’m very interested in surfaces. When you brush white slip over terracotta it has a deep earthy quality. I work quickly on this, scratching into it (sgraffitto) with random scribbles and doodles. It’s an instinctive and intuitive process. I do not deliberate or labour over the surfaces. I like to mess them up a little too with a few random splats of coloured slip or underglaze.

It’s all about the human element for me, layering up surfaces, rather like a painter at a canvas…. mark making and doodling.

 I finish off my pieces with a clear lead-free earthenware glaze. This makes them smooth to touch and also durable for everyday use.

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