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Lucy Burley, Potter

Female looking down. Pots in foreground

Discover Lucy's proudest achievement.

What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work?

My work explores harmony between colour and form; at the moment I’m working on new shapes and colours for the winter exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery; and developing my ‘still-life’ collections of miniature vessels in bespoke display cases. Ideas for my work come from the natural world as well as ancient and modern ceramics.

What medium do you use in your practice and why?

Nowadays I use really only one kind of clay – white earthenware – to make my range of vessels. After many years of experimenting I have found a clay body which is a joy to throw with, is a lovely colour, and which suits my smooth-textured earthenware glaze.

What motivates you to make work? Who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start?

My main motivation is the pleasure of making. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing and it’s so rewarding to make a living from something so enjoyable and absorbing. I was inspired early on by the ceramics tutors on my Foundation course and then by the work of many artists, some of whom have had a profound influence on my work including Lucie Rie’s elegant ceramics and exploration of colour by Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, and Pierre Bonnard.

What is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why?

A collection of vases I made for Watts Ceramics 2019 when I was honoured to be asked to be one of the ten all- female ceramicists to exhibit in the first exhibition of contemporary ceramics at The Watts Gallery in Compton.

What is your proudest achievement?

I was very proud to have been asked by Farnham Town Council to produce some bespoke vases for them to present to the judges of Farnham’s application to be a World Craft Town.

What is the most indispensable item or tool in your studio?

I have to say my kiln! It broke down during lockdown just as I was working on a commission for a very important client. Luckily a friend came to the rescue with the loan of her kiln while mine was fixed.

Where is your favourite place to see art / craft?

I could happily spend all day browsing the ceramics galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Why Farnham as a place to practise your art / craft? What is it about being part of the town that is special?

In 2000 I moved from London to Farnham because my husband lived here; I was delighted to find it a place where art and craft thrive, with many like-minded practitioners and organisations that support the arts in all forms.

Can you share a craft ‘secret’ or your favourite hidden craft thing / space / memory?

A fairly hidden gem is the amazing ceramics collection at the Allen Gallery in Alton – almost as good as the V&A, though much smaller, but right on our doorstep.

Being part of a community of makers is…

vital to keep connected with others who share the same experience of practising craft. Many of us work in a fairly isolated way in our own studios, so when we come together to exhibit at open studios or galleries, there’s always a great deal of mutual support and encouragement.

Maker film

Watch Lucy at work.

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