Ash Tree Studios
From evening classes with Elemental Ceramics in 2016 a love of clay was born.
Ash Tree Studios create items inspired by nature.
Recent classes with Elemental Ceramics, pre lockdown, ignited a love of clay and intensified interest in ceramics. A kiln was acquired from a retiring ceramicist, lots of video and other online learning undertaken and a studio built in 2020.
Using a combination of oxides with clear glaze and allowing the organic clay surface to show, items are hand built, from low fire Valentines white Earthenware clay or Potclays Craft Crank. Occasionally mixed with terracotta or spangles for 'burnt' or sparkly effects.
All creations are individual, slab or pinch pot constructions, not using moulds or a pottery wheel; fired to 900 degrees celsius at Bisc and 1040 degrees celsius for glaze, or 1170 for the crank clay; no two items are ever the same.
Natural forms have continued to develop from Ash Tree Studios after an initial Hare made, on the spur of the moment one evening class, with Elemental Ceramics; a throw back to interests in Darwin and Fibonacci many, many years ago.
The Hare, as in Masquerade by Kit Williams, has always been a fascination; especially its elongated ears and powerful feet. These features often forming quite striking elements of the sculptural forms created. The image of a hare striding across a field or hiding in the long grass listening intensely, ears and feet being the instantly recognisable elements, inspire the individual character developed into each sculptural piece.
Sleeping Hares, curled at rest, have become a regular piece most recently, with miniatures, around 2cm in diameter, now emerging from this shape.
The cold spring of 2021 has inspired a series of flower and toadstool-like forms, to fill the colour void within the garden space around Ash Tree Studios - the tentacle like forms twisting their way through the leaves of plants and clusters of toadstools adorning the base of the tree. Texture on these forms echoing the cell like structures and circles found in very early work. Poppy seed heads have now arrived, to dominate planting or hide between the leaves.
Dabbling in gardening for many years, the creation of some raised beds during lockdown also inspired making. Considering sustainability and the limited ability to reuse plastic labels successfully, boxes of vegetable and herb sticks were born.