Posted 14th October 2019
Meet... Stephanie Robinson and Jane Sarre
In the last week of Watts Ceramics 2019, we introduce you our final two ceramicists, Stephanie Robinson and Jane Sarre, whose different styles and techniques encapsulate the diversity of the exhibition.
Growing up in Surrey, Stephanie then pursued a passion for the creative arts at Bath Spa University, studying ceramics, textiles and art. Since graduating, she moved back to Surrey and for the last seven years has worked as a ceramic artist at Grayshott Pottery, working with a variety of techniques, materials and glazes.
One of Stephanie's greatest sources of inspiration is nature. Reflecting the surrounding Surrey Hills, she is able to draw on an abundance of trees and flowers, finding shape and pattern within the natural landscape. Stephanie is also inspired by the Arts & Crafts designer William Morris, engaging with the way his designs capture both nature and pattern in a unique, simple and elegant way.
'To decorate a piece, I first draw on the design using liquid wax, and follow this with layering glazes. The order of the layers and the reactions between them affects how the colours come out. All glazes have different properties: some are extremely reactive, some are key to making other glazes react. Knowing which glaze to use at what time is key to achieving the effect you want. It takes me about four and a half hours to paint all the layers before the piece can be fired.'
Stephanie would like to thank Grayshott Pottery for making the bisqueware pieces for her to decorate and providing the special Dartington Pottery high fire reduction glazes.
Jane began her ceramics training at Nene College, Northampton and then pursued it as a hobby for many years. After 20 years working in museums, she decided to jump ship and follow her ceramic passions. Since 2012 she has been able to focus fully on working with clay - mastering throwing and hand-making - developing collections of contemporary tableware and servingware with clean lines and subtle textures. Every piece is designed and made to be useful, tactile and visually appealing.
A recent medically-imposed break from throwing has allowed her the time to return to hand-building and to explore her rapidly developing creative ideas at her studio in Hastings.
'Every item is made individually by me. I use a smooth white stoneware clay and throw each piece on the wheel. They are then part-dried and hand-finished. Glazes are smooth and glassy to touch, ranging from satin to high gloss finish. Unglazed sections provide tactile contrast, giving the raw 'peachskin' feel of the clay.
I draw inspiration from the material itself, and from my own family heritage: I come from a family of growers and cooks, curious thinkers, designers and makers. My ceramics has its roots in a lifetime of meals made more enjoyable by good company and good tableware. My motto is “buy less, choose well and make it last".'
Interested in seeing Jane Sarre and Stephanie Robinson's works in person?
Click here to find out more about Watts Ceramics 2019.
Banner image: Jane Sarre