The Pottery

Walsall Studio Ceramics was formed by David Jones in 1986 with the aid of the Princes Youth Business Trust, after a short period he was joined by Ian Smith and this partnership lasted for 12 years in which time they built a good reputation for their work throughout the bonsai world not just in Britain but Europe and the rest of the World. After Ian left to pursue a career in teaching David Worked alone up until 2005 when he was joined at the studio by Mark Jones.

In 2010 the pottery was moved to a new workshop, here David and Mark continue to work on new ideas and projects which not only helps to improve and refine the existing pots but also adds new designs and styles to the range.

David and Mark have now been joined by Esther Griffiths, who is an independent artist based in Norfolk where she not only helps out making pots for Walsall Studio Ceramics but also makes pots of her own, occasionally coming over to the main studio to work with David and Mark.

 

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esther

Pot Making Methods

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We use many methods of producing our pots, the simplest of which is slip cast which we use for small simple pots. We mix our slip clay to our own recipe which has been developed and improved over many years, this slip is then poured into a plaster mould this is then left depending on its size between 1 and 6 hours for the walls of the pot to reach the desired thickness the excess slip is then poured off and the pot left to dry until leather hard, it is then ready for trimming and to have any additional work done, the pots are then left to dry out fully before fettling and sponging.

Our hand made pots are made in a variety of ways, our standard range are coiled or slab built into a plaster mould, this supports the soft clay in the basic shape until leather hard, once at this stage it is taken out of the mould and the pot is then finished to the desired design and surface finish.

Commissioned pots are freehand built either by coiling or slab building depending on the shape and size.

Glazing And Firing

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Once the pots are fully dry and this can take up to 4 weeks depending on the size of the pot and atmospheric conditions, they are biscuit fired to 1000ºC in an electric kiln once cool the pots have there various finishes applied, this can be oxides brushed, sponged or sprayed on or glazed by dipping or brushing and in most cases a combination of oxide and then glaze over the top.

The pots are then fired to between 1220ºC – 1260 ºC depending on the final finish required, this makes them very durable and fully frost proof. All our glazes are made on site to our own recipe and we are continually trying new combinations and variations to enhance the variety of colours and textured finishes to the range.