Matt’s Leach Pottery Apprenticeship – Summer Update

Pottery jugs thrown by Matt the Seasalt Leach Pottery apprentice

Since my last blog I have been super busy. I’ve spent about two weeks on mug handles which we have all been retrained on to make sure they are being done correctly. I’ve also spent a lot more time loading glaze kilns, especially the large kiln which has helped me learn more about where the hot and cold spots are, and better understand how the kiln fires and how the circulation of the air effects the firing. As well as loading and unloading bisque kilns, and throwing mugs and egg cups.

I’ve also spent time mixing glazes and am getting pretty confident with them now. I’ve even begun mixing my own, doing lots of tests to see what colours and effects I get in reduction which has been assisted by my self study assignments on glaze alchemy and reduction firing.

Matt Foster dipping hand thrown pottery jugs in glaze

The last couple of weeks have been spent working in the old studio at the museum. I spent the first few days turning tea bowls (yunomi / everyday cups) on the kick wheel which took some getting used to as it was my first time using this kind of wheel but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Turning and trimming is something I really enjoy and have been doing a lot for my own work. I then started throwing small jugs which was difficult at first. Trying to centre the clay whilst kicking the wheel was hard, but once I got used to it, I found that I was throwing much better and more confidently on the wheel.

Working down in the museum also gives me the opportunity to interact with visitors and answer questions they have about the pottery and what it’s like working there. They also get to see someone throwing and working in the old studio as they would have (sort of) back in the day.

Pottery jugs thrown by Matt the Seasalt Leach Pottery apprentice

Matt Foster, Leach Apprentice

Missed what Matt was up to last month? Catch up here.