I am mainly a self taught potter. I have an '0' level in pottery, which I gained at secondary school, but it was whilst I continued the art as a hobby that I learnt the most. In June 1993 this hobby turned into my occupation when I set up Woodland Pottery with financial and advisory help from our Local Enterprise Company: Lochaber Limited.
I do not use a potters wheel instead I use a method that is usually associated with an industrial pottery: SLIP-CASTING. This method involves the use of moulds made of plaster of paris into which liquid clay (SLIP) is poured or normal (PLASTIC) clay is moulded. Whilst this method result in the exact repetition of the basic form it does allow for each piece to be individually hand painted. In some cases the basic cast form is then altered by hand moulding to give the final piece.
I use white earthenware clay which although is not watertight in itself, it is when glazed. All the glazes I use are LEAD FREE and the decoration is gained by the use of metal oxides: cobalt to give vibrant blues; copper oxide for green; and various iron oxides for the browns. Other colours used, such as grey, black, yellow and red are made from a combination of metal oxides.
The colour designs are hand painted onto the raw base glaze before it is fired. This means that the colour sinks right into the glaze during firing and therefore it will not peel off with time.
The use of lead free glaze means that all the pottery is 'food safe'.