Featured Artist: Andrew Sinclair
Published: 27 May 2016
Studio Potter Andrew Sinclair has taken part in a number of the Skipton Open Studios to date, and we're delighted that he'll be joining the party again this year! Andrew was kind enough to talk to the team about his work with ceramics, and the lengthy process he goes through to make his beautiful pottery pieces:
"Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before?
Yes, I have found it to be a worthwhile activity in that it is a chance for the public to see my work and studio.
How did you first get into Art?
Interest started at school and from that on to Art College.
Who is your creative inspiration?
Several Studio potters. Bernard Leach from the past and several practicing potters. Svein Hjorth-Jensen from La Borne in central France. He is one of the few potters that makes a living just from his work.
Why should we visit your Studio?
An opportunity to see a working Studio Pottery. An opportunity to see all the processes from raw clay to the finished pot!
What have you been doing so far in preparation for this year’s Open Studios?
Nothing out of the ordinary. There are several commissions that are in progress. At present there is a 75 piece dinner service that I am working on.
What can we expect from you from this year’s Open Studios?
A chance to see the studio potter at work, the process from raw clay to the finished piece and demonstration of throwing on the wheel.
Describe Jersey’s creative scene in 5 words…
Diverse for a small Island
What inspires you to make art?
The shear pleasure of working with this medium and creating artistic and functional work from a humble, drab lump of clay.
Tell me about your work process?
All work is started from raw clay either being hand thrown or hand built then turned (trimmed) and left to dry. Each piece is fired for the first time to a temperature of around 1000 degrees centigrade. This leaves the pots porous enough to absorb the glaze and re-packed in the kiln where the temperature will rise to around 1250 degrees taking 16 hours. This means the alarm clock is often set to off in the middle of the night! The kiln is then left for a further 36 hours allowing the glaze to bond with the clay and the pots to cool. The moment of truth when the kiln is opened is always exciting, but results can often be a disappointment - the post mortem begins and the whole process starts again!
Do you have a routine or will you work through the night if inspiration takes hold?
Routine would be great, but retirement seems to be extraordinarily busy! As working with clay is physically quite energetic I tend to throw and glaze at the beginning of the day, but boats and slab pots are quite often built in the evening on the kitchen table.
Do you work in silence or with the radio?
With the radio.
Do you like to focus on one piece at a time or do you have lots on the go at once?
I tend to focus on the building/throwing of an individual piece, but in the background there is always turning, handles, glazing etc going on with sets of pots.
Have you recently been to any exhibitions in the UK or elsewhere that suprised you?
At the Harbour Gallery - photography by John Ovenden.
What are your artist plans for the next 12 months?
More creative shapes, new and different glazing effects."
Andrew will be opening his studio in St Ouen for the public to come and visit during the West weekend of Open Studios, 25th + 26th June, 10:00AM - 5:00PM. Please visit Andrew's artist profile for his contact details and directions to his studio. We look forward to seeing you there!