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Sarah WaltonImage Gallery

Contact Details

Studio: Keeper's, Bo-Peep Lane, Selmeston, Near Polegate, East Sussex, UK, BN26 6UH. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44(0)1323 811517
Email:
Web-site: www.sarahwalton.co.uk
Availability: Visitors welcome, but must always telephone first to avoid disappointment. Usually open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11.00am. - 5.00pm. Weekends by appointment only.

Directions: On A27 from Lewes towards Eastbourne, 'Keeper's' is first turn right after Selmeston.


Last Updated: 2011-10-07

Artist's Statement

Artist's Statement

'Yesterday I sat waiting for a train at a local station. and watched one of the attendants as he signalled trains to depart. I've observed him over the years, the spring in his walk, the economy of his movements, his relaxed but attentive ways. He dismisses trains with sensuous ease and whistle's while he sweeps the stairs at night.
In a sense he is a model for how I try to work now and even for what I make, too. I took him for ordinary until I saw he is so individual.'

I wrote that some years back and feel an up-date is necessary because I saw the same man recently at another station up the line. This time he was assigned the dangerous job of linking two portions of my train. As he passed I saw that he walked with a protuberant stomach and his weight no longer on the balls of his feet but now on his heels. The posture that had caught my eye in the past was gone. His jacket was oily. My heart sank. There was so little time to observe his face. What I most hoped to see there was some sign that his concentration of old was still there, intact.

I've tried to concentrate on what I do, as that railwayman has. My medium is clay. I've been a potter since 1975.

Throughout that time all my ceramics have been Saltglazed. This is an unpredictable method of glazing. But I try to be canny. I 'stalk' effects that I know might happen if I do 'this' during the making or 'this' during the kiln-packing or 'that' during the firing. For at any one of these stages what I do can influence the final glaze.
March 2001.

Current / Future Events

Current / Future Events

Mill Marsh Park : Contemporary Craft Festival
June 06, 2014 to June 08, 2014

Art in Clay - Hatfield House : Art in Clay 2014
July 04, 2014 to July 06, 2014

Current Work

Current Work

Sarah Walton has worked as a potter at Alciston since 1975, using Salt kiln. She is the sike maker in a set up where two part-time helpers take a supporting role. Landscape is a theme; she has walked, drawn & painted it since childhood & it inspired her Birdbaths. Her inclination is to home down forms that are developed over years. She chooses a limited palatte & seeks to exploit the austere & subtle qualities of Saltglazing.

Bird Baths, Sculptural pieces, Tiles, mugs, beakers, plates and bowls, all in saltglaze, comprise my current range of work.

Bird baths - Their forms are prompted by nature, certain man-made structures which relate intimately with their surroundings and landscape, especially that of the South Downs and The Lake District. In these bird-baths I have tried to recreate on a small scale what I have seen on a larger one there. Just as important has been the influence of Romanesque and Neolithic art.

Very early on in evolving these forms I once, at dusk and during a fall of rain, looked out at a bird­bath in my garden. Or rather, I found myself looking at an ellipse of mercury, floating in darkness. This was the water in the bird-bath reflecting the last light of day. The sky was overcast and nowhere did there seem light enough to explain this event. I remember saying to myself, "Oh yes, that's what I want".

The bird-baths are made in four shapes, each echoing the form of its base. As a result of the infinite variation of the salf-glaze, each piece is unique. The design of the bird baths is such that only a shallow pool of water forms in them, which has room to expand if it should freeze. The pool of water becomes a vehicle for light, reflecting the sky. It is both form and light that together convey Sarah's intent.

Each bird-bath has either a smooth or sgraffito surface finished in one of six glazes: Blue, Cardrew, Harrow, Keeper's, Orange and Plain.

The bird-baths stand on a timber base made of recycled Douglas fir. The 12 inch (30cm) square bases are supplied in varying heights up to three feet (90cm). No.3 may have a round or square base. The base of No.4 echoes its form. The bases are treated with wood preservative and last for many years.

Although bird-baths may be ordered, most people prefer to arrange a visit to the workshop to choose one from theose on display.

Please see the website for further details, including examples of Sarah Walton's other work.

(see some examples on the image pages)

Saltglazed Tiles - An appreciation of the way surfaces are eroded over hundreds of years by the effects if use and weathering has been the inspiration for these tiles. The material used is stoneware clay so the tiles are therefore very hard indeed. Some warpage occurs with such high fired wares and this contributes to the final surface of great three dimensional and tactile richness.

Their colourings can be compared to English Mediaeval tiles of the 12th to 15th Centuries. As with these, earth colourings predominate ranging through grey, cream, pink, orange and red to rich dark brown. There is a variation of tone across each tile which makes no single tile of uniform colour. The distinctive mottling and iridescence of their surfaces result from the unusual method of firing which they have had. No two tiles are the same. The dappled effect built up with such tiles makes a very effective decoration of its own.

A range of tiles with inscribed geometric pattern is also made and, to order, tiles with inscribed motifs of bowls of fruit, fish, Thames barges and trees. These are shown to best advantage when spaced between plain tiles. It is colour and form more than two dimensional pattern which feature strongly with such tiling.

Work generally available from:
Contemporary Ceramics, Marshall Street, London
Contemporary Applied Arts in London
The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh
Joanna Bird Pottery, Chiswick, London
Broughton Gallery, Broughton, Scotland
The Gallery at Bevere, Worcester, UK


The following web-sites may be of interest regarding Sarah's work:
www.axisartists.org.uk
www.duncanmcneill.com/folio
designfactor.demon.co.uk

And on the Crafts Council Index Database in London

There is always a display of current work in both the garden and showroom at Keepers. Those wishing to see this work either during weekdays or weekends are most welcome to call. We recommend you telephone beforehand.

If you would like to be on her mailing list please email or write to her with your name and address

Other Information: Regular Saltglaze classes for students - from beginners to those have worked in other areas, who wish to gain experience of salt-glazing - see courses page for full details and cost. Also will provide lectures, demonstrations and workshops, subject to availability and runs a series of 'fun days' for children at her workshop.

Technical Information

Technical Information

Saltglaze firing in reducing atmosphere to 1280deg. C. Originally exclusively thrown work (tableware) but since 1984 has become much more interested in hand-building techniques, including press moulding.

Awards

Awards

1975 - Crafts Council Grant to establish a workshop
1978 - South East Arts Bursary Award
1990 - John Ruskin Craft Bursary
1993 - South East Arts Major Award
1998 - South East Arts Award

Recent Exhibitions

Recent Exhibitions

Artdejardin Gallery, Rutland. 2007.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre & 50th Anniversary Exhbition of The Gallery Bevere, Gloucester.
CPA, London.
Quenington Sculpture Trust.
Besson Gallery.
Ceramic Art London, RCA London.
Collect V&A, London.
Hannah Peschar Sculpture Gallery, Ockley. 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Marchants Hardy Plants. 2004 & 2006.

Commissions

Commissions

1987 & 1999 - Communion vessels for the Benedictine Monastery at Worth Abbey, Sussex 1990 - Large vase for St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London
1990 - Large vase for St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London

Many private commissions through the years

Public Collections

Public Collections

Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Crafts Council, London.
Contemporary Arts Soc, London.
S.E Arts Collection, Hove Museum, Sussex.
Castle Museum, Nottingham.
Crafts Centre, Nothern Arts, Cleveland.
Norwich Museum, Norfolk.
City Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.
Newport Museum, Gwent, Wales.
Arts Centre, University of South Wales, Aberystwyth.
Paisley & Glasgow Museums, Scotland.
The Alien Gallery, Alton, Hampshire.

Work Styles

Work Styles

Stoneware
Salt
Vases & Bowls
Sculptural
Kitchen & Tableware
Garden