sarah snell ceramics

about

about me

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Hi, I’m Sarah & I love the connection a handmade product gives the user to the maker.  To own, hold and use something unique, created with love & care is a thing of joy in this age of ‘disposable’ wastefulness.

I started potting in my friend Penny’s studio, and continue to be her ‘girl Monday’ in exchange for mentoring & playtime. From being a once a week student around 9 years ago, I now make & sell pots as my ‘proper job” from my own tiny home studio.

I love nothing (well almost nothing- in case family are watching!) more than throwing on the wheel with beautiful porcelain; a tricky mistress but gorgeous.

I trained in book design. When my youngest child went to school, I got a position as the Art Department technician in the local secondary school. I later trained to be a specialist teacher in SEN -Dyslexia.

I have always dabbled in arts and crafts. As a child I loved to make and decorate my own cardboard dolls’ houses – complete with handmade wallpaper and carpets. I’ve always had a creative outlet, frequently moving on to ‘the next thing’ until I met clay and became a bit obsessed.

I’m very proud to offer my pots for sale, and hope you like them as much as I do. All feedback gratefully received!

I am always adding new pieces, so keep in touch for all the lastest news.

Join my mailing list for news,events, listings etc. – I promise not to clog up your inbox!

about my process

The pot starts as a piece of fine porcelain on my potter’s wheel. I throw the desired shape, size, and fineness required bearing in mind that the finished piece will have shrunk by almost 20%! It’s then set aside to become leather hard; depending on the weather and size of pot, this usually takes around 1/2 a day and 4 days .

Whilst the piece is drying, I hand pull the handles and any other additions and allow them to stiffen enough to be able to hold their shape whilst attaching them to the piece.

Once the piece is stiff enough, it goes back on the wheel to be turned (refining the shape) and then any additions, such as pedestals, spouts, handles & sprigs are added. Some decoration such as slip is applied at this stage, 

– The completed piece is then set aside to dry out completely for up to 4 weeks, depending on weather, thickness & how prone to cracking the piece is; large plates being the most cantankerous! 

Once dry (greenware stage) the piece is ready for bisque firing and is very, very, fragile. 

I usually decorate after the bisque firing.

 

The bisque ware is still very fragile and will snap like a biscuit so decorating needs to be done carefully. I sketch the design onto the mug using ceramic pencil, paint it with ceramic underglaze colours & additions then it’s ready for glazing and a final firing to 1240/1250C. 

– I am always experimenting with new designs and have some interesting new pieces in the pipeline, some involve the use of precious metal lustres.

After cooling and sanding to further smooth the surface, the cup is glazed, then fired to its top temp of 1240/1250C which vitrifies (makes it suitable to hold liquids without absorbing any moisture.)

The finished piece is then *microwave, dishwasher & food safe, although hand washing is preferable.

*lustreware is food safe but hand wash only & not microwavable due to the metal content.

Thanks for visiting my website; if you have a question, comment or suggestion, I am happy to answer please contact me at: sarahsnellceramics@gmail.com

Sarah