Craft SoR David Mullin

I make pots which are inspired by traditional techniques and by the colours and textures of the mountains. I learned to throw at Winchcombe pottery in Gloucestershire and now work from my garden on the Welsh border in Kington, Herefordshire.

I use earthenware clay, sometimes dug locally, to produce functional pots. This is thrown on a kickwheel and I also slab-build and use hump and slump moulds for some pieces. The work is decorated in a limited palette of slips formed of liquid clay and glazes comprise only three different colours. Slip may be trailed using various “pourers” or, once dry or almost dry, removed with a comb or a knife. The pots are fired in a gas kiln, which gives additional liveliness and depth to the colours.

The limitations of slipware are its strength. The small range of colours: brown, black, green, blue, yellow are ones I see on the hills around my home. The relatively low temperature firing can also help to bring these out and the flame within the kiln adds a degree of unpredictability and risk.

I have huge regard and respect for the traditional pottery produced in Staffordshire, the Midlands and Wales during the 17th and 18th centuries, usually by anonymous craftspeople supplying domestic demand. The skill in the making, and freedom of decoration, of these pots is a deep well of inspiration.