cambridge contemporary crafts

Elspeth Soper

Elspeth Soper lives and works in Shropshire.

The earthenware is made out of red clay & is decorated using coloured slips (liquid clay) often built up in painted layers over a poured or dipped base colour. The line is usually scraffito (scratched through the slip to the dark colour of the pot clay.) The pots are raw-glazed (thus dispensing with a bisque firing) using a transparent or a honey glaze & then fired in a gas kiln to around 1120C. The non-functional fowl models are built up in coils on top of a thrown base & are decorated & glazed in the same way.The stoneware is also raw-glazed using an ash glaze (using ash from the pottery wood stove) or a shino glaze, & is fired in a reducing gas kiln to around 1260C. 

‘The pots I make are very rooted in pots made in the past which I love. These include English medieval pottery and later slipware, and European slipware, most especially Hungarian “peasant” pottery. I sometimes make hangings which combine clay with other materials – wood, leather, string, feathers. These reflect my interest in Native North American arts and cultures.


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