View Image Gallery Sarah Walton(Full member)Tel: +44(0)1323 811517 Email: Web: www.sarahwalton.co.uk
'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.
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 - 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:
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.
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.
1975 - Crafts Council Grant to establish a workshop
Artdejardin Gallery, Rutland. 2007.
1987 & 1999 - Communion vessels for the Benedictine Monastery at
Worth Abbey, Sussex 1990 - Large vase for St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside,
Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
View Image Gallery Selected Images
Contact DetailsStudio Address: Keeper's, Bo-Peep Lane, Selmeston, Near Polegate, East Sussex, UK, BN26 6UH.
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Telephone: +44(0)1323 811517
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
Events featuring this potter
Art in Clay - Hatfield House : Art in Clay 2014