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Biography

I was born in Poole, Dorset in 1960 and attended art foundation course at Bournemouth College in 1978. I had intended to study graphic design, but found myself more intrigued by the possibilities of working with clay and so ended up enrolling in a course in environmental ceramics at Bournemouth. After a valuable year under the instruction of Peter Studley I transferred to Harrow College. In 1982 I gained an HND in Studio Pottery from Harrow.

After college I worked for the slipware potter Mary Wondrausch at Compton in Surrey, gaining experience in throwing and slipware decoration. As a self-employed potter in Guildford I produced a range of earthenware pots decorated with slips and under glazes. The making of my own pots was for some years combined with teaching and technician work in adult education.

I came to Devon from Guildford in 1999, intending to spend a year working at Dartington pottery to gain experience in reduction-fired stoneware, production throwing and a variety of other making processes. The year turned into two and a half, after which I left to again pursue a career as a self-employed potter. In 2002 I set up my own workshop at Coombe Park near Totnes.

Artists Statement

My work has always been based on throwing, which I enjoy for its immediacy and rhythmic processes. I like forms that are strong and definite, simple shapes with harmonious relationships between their parts. Colour and pattern are long standing interests. With the decoration I aim to reflect something of the movement of the throwing process and explore and enhance the form. The decoration is usually abstract but may suggest sea or sky, mostly it is about movement and energy.

I have found that oxidised stoneware best suits my expressive style, my aim being to combine the decorative freedom of low temperature ceramics with the depth and texture of stoneware glazes. Also oxidised stoneware provides the perfect medium for exploring the balance between chance and the control of known elements in the design process.

The process of exploring and developing new glazes and designs is a fascinating mixture of creativity and science. It is a complex process, requiring both experimentation and close observations over time.  Research and development is a continuous process, so new designs and glazes evolve alongside the regular production.

2000 - 2013 All images and material copyright of Lea Phillips.

Website last updated 10th August 2013.