Please Note: My opening dates are from 15 -23 May every day from 2-6 pm. The exhibition will include pots which I have created on the wheel here in my home studio (a considerable body of work built up during all the lockdowns) along with the skilful botanical drawings done by co-exhibitor, Dianne Frank.
I am really looking forward to having the public once more able to come and see and hold pieces I've made. There will be a range of mainly functional pieces: bowls, vases, jugs and plates plus a few of the large platters which had become kind of signature pieces. Recently I have been exploring the use of volcanic glaze both for its texture and subtle colours. At various stages in the past I have played around with integrating metal into my ceramics. So recently I combined these two interests by using volcanic glaze to hold some thin strands of copper wire in place around the rim of a bowl. The copper melted producing a rather dramatic grey and black band with tinges of green. There will be a number of pieces using this rather unique technique including several large bowls I have just made.
You can see a video of a previous Artweeks exhibition here at 10 Hayward Road by clicking on the link above. It features my pottery, Dianne's botanical drawings and jewellery made by Jane Hainsworth who will be exhibiting from her home next door at 12 Hayward Road.
This will be a Covid secure exhibition. Visitors will be welcomed in the garden and can enter the exhibition as social distancing allows.
Having spent most of my youth on the then wild coast of Northern California engaged in such physical activities as milking cows, splitting shakes for the roof and mixing cement for the foundations of the house our family built, it’s not surprising that I revel in the physicality and hands-on nature of throwing pots on the wheel. I gravitate to making mainly functional pieces and love the idea of my pots being woven into the daily lives of those who buy them. Stoneware clay is ideal for such pieces as it is very robust and fired to a very high temperature, so it stands up to use and is microwave, dishwasher and oven proof.
When I make a piece, form is central. I often get inspiration from vessels I have seen on travels or in museums. At other times the form arises as a more spontaneous interaction between clay and hands. But I always like the form to shine through and so tend to keep decoration pretty minimal and to gravitate towards a subdued palette and hopefully a certain quietude.
I have been making pottery since taking early retirement from a rewarding career in teaching. Along with playing music it is now my main avocation. I have recently taken the plunge into the world of online selling and have started an Etsy shop www.TamsPots.Etsy.com and have been taking part in online exhibitions of the Oxfordshire Craft Guild. They been a help during all of the lockdowns, but I sorely miss the buzz and creative spur that comes from people actually reacting to a piece I have made, so am really looking forward to Artweeks. And from late May it should be possible to welcome visitors at any time to my home studio at 10 Hayward Road in Oxford.