The CPA’s Facebook forum for members officially launched in January, giving a platform for members – who have Facebook – to speak with one another, share information, updates and put their questions to the CPA community. We now pose questions from you on our weekly e-bulletin and will be presenting members’  email answers also on the CPA Blog here.

Our first question came from Associate CPA member Kelly Morris, with the following question:

“Can I ask the established potters and ceramic artists how they came upon their ‘particular thing’ – their signature style, methods, art focus, themes, etc.?

As background, I have been working in clay for just over 2 years, at the local arts and crafts centre and at my recently established home studio (funded by my ‘day job’). I love ceramics with a passion, and have undertaken to learn a variety of different techniques, but I am nowhere near to having a signature style, or even knowing what I want to focus on – my work so far is hugely varied. About all I can say is it’s mostly stoneware.”


Associate member Anton Todd:

“My work evolved from my love of the coast, childhood holidays in Devon and Cornwall, and my appreciation of my all-time favourite potter, Bryan Newman. Give yourself time and don’t worry about your ‘signature style’; it will come. Concentrate on what works well and most importantly work that you like.”

Associate member Kate Whittaker:

“I agree with Anton. Much of my work has come from ‘happy accidents’ – I mostly make one offs with ripped rims or altered thrown pieces I tended to try different things and see what happened but think I always knew I was not a domestic ware person. Make what you enjoy and take things to their limit. Also think about what kind of work you like and let this influence you. I love Lucy Rie, Hamada style pots and raku.” 

Associate member David Melville:

“Lots of potters work at one thing so if you looked at their display at a show it would be all slipware or all one colour. My training was such that we did a lot of different things from tableware to sculpture and 38 years on I still love to embrace a wide range of ceramics making and glazing techniques. I believe that if you have a good skill base you should be able to go in many directions. When it comes to selling and your display is a harmonious one colour and the person walking by isn’t into that colour they carry on walking.”

Associate member Debbie Page:

“For me my personal style has evolved over time. I focused on one method of making (coiling) for the forms. As for the surface decoration, well that developed by accident. I’m an impatient glazer who got fed up of ruining kilns shelves so tried smoke firing. Then that little voice in my head asked what would happen if I smoke fired a pot already glazed. The rest as they say is history. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to settle on your style. Get experience with different methods and experiment. Don’t be scared about making mistakes or even stuff you don’t like. You’ll be learning all the time.”


If you’re a current CPA member, have Facebook and haven’t yet joined the group then click HERE to get involved in all our conversations.

For those who haven’t a Facebook account, we’ll be posing questions to our members in our Friday e-newsletter also, so feel free to get in touch on any of ours or members’ questions with your knowledge and experience via Facebook or email.

If you’re not a CPA member yet and would be interested in joining click here to navigate to the the Associate Membership information page.

Banner image by Kate Whittaker

Article by Dominic Head, CPA Membership Manager

© Craft Potters Association 2018