philip heath | pottery

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I have long been intrigued by the elemental nature of clay and the process of making things with it, by the subtlety of variation in the shape of pots and how this relates to look and function, and by the way in which making ceramics connects us across history and cultures. My focus is on functional pottery: for me much the satisfaction of pottery comes from how it feels in use and how well it serves its purpose, as well as how it looks.


I work in both stoneware and earthernware. With the former I am particularly interested in the use of simple glazes, many using wood ash, and the way these interact with the form of a pot, and with applied, or incised, decoration of the clay. The latter has been largely stimulated by experimenting with the discovery, preparation and use of 'wild clay'. All my pots are single-fired. It is important to me to find ways of working which are simple, direct, and environmentally sound.

I am also interested in aspects of historic pottery, in particular medieval pottery in Britain and Europe, both in the the forms themselves, which are an influence in my own pots, and in the techniques used by medieval potters. Through this has come involvement with an experimental archaeology project digging clay, making pots and constructing and firing medieval-type wood-fired kilns.


More on all these things can be found under the about link above, and in the journal pages.


Although I do normally make some pottery for sale, we are in the midst of moving at the moment so, currently, I do not have a functional workshop, and all the ceramics  work I am doing is associated with the Medieval Pottery project.

News & journal

Latest entries in the journal are below. Go to the News &  journal page for more.