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Making a mug- from ball of clay to cup of tea from Michelle Lowe on Vimeo.

 

I make my work by hand in my small workshop using traditional slipware pottery techniques. I use red earthenware clay (terracotta).

I love throwing and I make most of my work on a potters wheel. I also make some pieces including tiles and rectangular platters by rolling out slabs of clay.

I decorate the pieces using coloured slips (liquid white clay which I mix with oxides and stains to add colour).

The slip is applied to the pots by pouring, brushing, sponging or trailing (using a slip trailer). These different techniques create different thicknesses of slip which alter the texture and colour.

I sometimes also add fine detail by scratching through to the red clay using a needle (scraffito)

Once the decorated pots are dry they are then biscuit fired to 1000ºC. After 28 hours they can be removed from the kiln and I glaze them with a transparent or translucent glaze. I then fire them again them in a hotter glaze firing with a top temperature of 1130ºC.

 

About Michelle 

I was introduced to pottery at school and instantly loved it. I studied at Wimbledon School of Art for an art foundation course and then pursued pottery part-time alongside studying social anthropology at Edinburgh University and working for a decade for social justice and human rights organisations in Scotland and in South America. 

In 2006 I  learnt a huge amount by working as a summer assistant to Barbel Dister at Cromarty Pottery. I then returned to work as her apprentice.

I returned to Edinburgh and spent a few years potting part-time based at Gorgie City Farm. I then took the leap into setting up my own pottery in December 2012. 

I now make pots full-time from my workshop at my home in Edinburgh.

I have also worked with and learned from a few other inspiring potters including Niek Hoogland and Pim Van Huisseling, Josie Walter and Maureen Minchin.


michelle lowe constructing teapotsmichelle lowe unloading kiln