Trawden Pottery – hand-thrown functional pots with clean lines and craftsmanship at their core

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

Meet the Maker: Trawden Pottery

Martin and Pam from Trawden Pottery create hand-thrown functional pots with crisp clean lines and simple glazes. There is a definite nod to the pots of Japan and a Scandinavian aesthetic, although this is unintentional and comes more from a focus on form and craftsmanship. “Craft is not art – we both feel quite strongly about that,” explains Martin. He tell us more about their pots, processes and inspiration…

Can you introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about what you do?
We are Martin and Pam and we live in the Lancashire village of Trawden. We both work full time, as well as running Trawden Pottery. We’ve collected ceramics for years and always intended to produce some ourselves. About five years ago, we dug a pit in our garden and fired our first, very basic, pots. They came out of the fire pit black and very porous, but we were hooked. So we bought a small kiln and started to product decorative unglazed stoneware. It wasn’t long before we had introduced glazes and then a potter’s wheel.

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

About five years ago, we dug a pit in our garden and fired our first, very basic, pots. They came out of the fire pit black and very porous, but we were hooked.

Who does what at Trawden Pottery?
Over the years the work division has settled to me (Martin) throwing the pots and Pam firing and dispatching. Pam is hoping to get back to producing next year as we’re planning to introduce a new range of posts produced using a slab roller and slump moulds.

Japanese Sake Set, Handmade Sake Set, Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

We both appreciate Japanese pottery and want to produce the clean lines and simplicity of their functional pots.

Where does the inspiration for your pots come from?
While our influences vary widely, we find that our pots are becoming more and more about form. This is a natural consequence of our improved skill level. The better we get, the more we want a cleaner, crisper finish, while retaining a hand-thrown quality. We both appreciate Japanese pottery and want to produce the clean lines and simplicity of their functional pots. I think our pots combine the aesthetics of both Japan and Sweden but this isn’t intentional.

craft is not art, trawden pottery

 

One thing is certain, craft is not art. We both feel quite strongly about that.

Who are your heroes of craft?
We appreciate a wide range of pottery styles and potters, but ‘heroes’ isn’t something we really do.

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

I think our pots combine the aesthetics of both Japan and Sweden but this isn’t intentional.

Can you describe your making process? How do you make your pots?
The process starts with kneading the clay to mix it evenly and remove any air bubbles. The clay is weighed, then thrown on the potter’s wheel. After throwing, the pot needs to dry slowly for a day or so, depending on the weather and the thickness of the pot. Once the pot is leather hard it can be trimmed and handles can be added, depending on what pot is being made. The pots then need to dry out completely, which will take at least a day. Then it’s time for the first firing at 1000 deg C, which takes about 12 hours. After cooling, the pots are dipped in glaze, then fired again, this time to 1255 deg C – a process which takes about eight hrs. Although this is hotter than the first firing, it takes less time because the ramp-up is quicker (the risk of cracking being less in the second firing, so the temperature can be increased more quickly). Another day’s cooling and the pots are ready.

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

The fact something is handmade makes a difference – you can see the time, effort and skill that’s gone into making it.

What makes a successful pot?
A successful pot to me is one that looks balanced, feels balanced in your hand and does the job it was made to do.

what makes a successful pot, handmade ceramics

A successful pot does the job it was made to do.

What does craft means to you?
We both get a great pleasure from handmade objects. Using crafted items enhances the experience, whether this is eating from a handmade plate or washing your hands with handmade soap. The fact it’s handmade makes a difference – you can see the time, effort and skill that’s gone into making it. One thing is certain, craft is not art. We both feel quite strongly about that.

Handmade Pottery, Trawden Pottery

Christmas itself is about resting. It’s real food and real ale in front of a real fire, with the smell of a real Christmas tree.

What does Christmas look like at Trawden Pottery?
The build-up to Christmas is extremely busy for us, so Christmas itself is about resting. It’s real food and real ale in front of a real fire, with the smell of a real Christmas tree. It’s wine, mince pies and talk of going for a walk, which we never do. Perhaps we will this year, you never know!

ceramic storage jars, handmade pottery, Trawden Pottery

Shop Trawden Pottery on Folksy 

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1 Comment

  • December 9, 2016

    Judy

    I disagree that craft is not art, because it depends what it is.