Sally tells how lockdown re-ignited her love of clay.
I first became involved with miniatures on a visit to the London Dollshouse Festival in 2001. I was with my mother in-law who was a keen collector & I had just got back into making full size ceramics, after taking time out to start a family. I was in complete awe from that first visit and wondered if it was something I could get involved with.
For a few years I was a regular at various Dolls house & miniatures fairs with my miniature ceramics. I travelled to Europe (Germany, Belgium & Holland) and also a few trips across the pond (Chicago & Igma) but in 2017 I moved to the US and took a break from making.
During the 1st COVID lockdown of 2020, a time when most of us were confined to our homes, it was a tough period. As a moral booster, I needed away to release my creative energy, so I started drawing again, but it was working with clay that I really missed. I managed to purchase some clay online, but I needed to find a different method to produce my work as I didn’t have access to any of my original plaster moulds I had used in the past. It was whilst browsing on Facebook that I found what I was looking for. I belong to a group called ‘World pottery challenge’. where I came across a video of a guy in Thailand throwing little vases on a miniature wheel. I didn’t know there was such a thing! I was mesmerised… It was like that lightening bolt moment! I had to have one, a miniature potters wheel, wow, I was excited.
After having googled ‘miniature throwing wheels’, amazon.com was my next port of call & 7 days later I was the proud owner of a little wheel. This is my new favourite toy. Next on my shopping list was a kiln, I found a small doll kiln, a perfect size for firing miniatures. I had some experience throwing big pots whilst at Art college studying for my degree in ceramics & glass. It didn’t take long to get back into the swing of it.
I use an earthenware body clay to make my pieces. During the making process I use a heat gun to quickly dry them off before removing them from the wheel, this is so they won’t distort. I have just been working on a commission: to produce an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tea set in 1:6th scale. Its basically a scaled up version of the set I have made in 1:12th scale. It was an exciting commission and was only made possible with my new wheel. I also hand build. I use this method to make some of my larger tulip vases, and a majority of the quirky teapots have elements of hand modelled detail.
See more of Sally’s work HERE