Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas at the Adam Pottery

Looking for an extra special stocking filler or just wanting to escape the bitter snow this weekend? Then why not pop along to the Adam Pottery and enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine at their Christmas Open Weekend. Situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, the Adam Pottery will be selling and exhibiting the work of resident potters such as Fiona Thompson and Chris Donnelly.  I spoke with studio owner Janet Adam to learn a bit more about the studio and her ceramic practise.

Briefly tell us the history of The Adam Pottery: 

The studio was set up in 1983 as my own workshop, but with space initially for other makers of various persuasions.   However, for many years now the 5 or 6 tenants have all been potters and ceramists.

When did you first decide to pursue a career in ceramics?

Having enjoyed pottery at school and been to evening classes on and off - while working as a secretary for ten or so years - I had a series of "lucky breaks".  These led to me having enough experience to feel I could set up my own pottery, which I did in 1976. Luckily in those days anything handmade sold, so I survived!

Which artists have influenced your work?

Not one specific potter, but I have always admired reduction-fired glazes, and skilful throwing of large pieces.

Since The Adam Pottery opened, have you witnessed a lot of developments in the use of clay?

The main change has been in the move away from wheel-thrown work for purely practical use towards more sculptural and decorative pieces. Also, the use of digitally enhanced images for use in decoration.

How would you describe the range of work on display at the Open Weekend?

"Something for everyone" about sums it up! Work by the 5 current (and one previous) ceramists includes everything from functional wheel-thrown pottery in stoneware, porcelain and earthenware to more individual one-off yet still practical pieces for indoors and out;  slip-cast "designer" items; non-functional vessels with cutting-edge digitally enhanced images and crystalline-glazed sculptural pieces.   Prices start at £2 for porcelain Christmas decorations, £6 for small vases - up to around £300 for individual pieces.  Between us we show a really exciting view of what can be achieved in ceramics - both traditional and contemporary.

Is there ever any collaboration between the artists at The Adam Pottery?

Not as such, but we are always ready to help one another with technical problems and advice. Personally, I find I have to try consciously to not let too much sideways influence creep in !

What, in your opinion, is the key ingredient to running a successful studio?

Making work that sells, but does not restrict trying out new forms, glazes and ideas.

Finally - what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?  

A new gas-fired kiln - totally free of charge...

Christmas Open Weekend
@ The Adam Pottery
Saturday 4th December
Sunday 5th December
Open 11am – 6pm

76 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5BJ
Tel: 0131 557 3978

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Calum; see you at the weekend if you can make it...and take a look at my new blog: