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Jessica Mason
Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Jessica is a process-led maker with a background in textiles and metals. She makes thrown functional ware, working on a traditional leach-style kick wheel and gas firing in a reduction atmosphere. Her work is focused on the sensitive interaction between maker and material. Exploring the dialogue between the plastic qualities of clay and its relationship with the user, she considers the evolution of each piece as being intrinsically linked to the rituals of functional wear. 

Originally from Devon, she was first introduced to working with clay at Hollyford Pottery whilst still at school. She continued to refine her skills as a potter through her Fine Art degree at Chelsea College of Arts and most recently, Clay College in Stoke-on-Trent.


Her studio is currently located at Potclays in Stoke-on-Trent, in the heart of the potteries. 


'Platter', press-moulded stoneware, gas fired in a reduction atmosphere, rouletted and decorated with porcelain slip, glazed with a transparent glaze, h. 1 x w. 50 x d. 22 cm


How does the location of your studio come into your work?

J: My studio is located on site at Potclays, a fourth-generation family run clay manufacturers and ceramic suppliers. I find being based in Stoke-on-Trent and living in the heart of the potteries constantly inspiring as the rich industrial history and evidence of skill based knowledge is still very present in the city, with its old clay pits and potbanks. 

What are you thinking about when you start making each piece? Do you work in series?

J: I’m aways sketching on the wheel, and find that each piece is ever evolving. I try to keep the best mug from a freshly thrown board of pots next to me when I start the next making cycle so that I can try to keep improving the shape even more each time. 


Do you listen to anything as you work?
J: I listen to a lot of podcasts - desert island discs mainly - during the day and then I put the music up loud when I’m mopping the floor and cleaning up in the evening. 


Do you plan each piece in advance or do they develop intuitively?

J: I often think I’m planning out a making list, or working off a quick sketch of an idea I’ve done the previous day but then once a piece is fired and I’ve got it finished in the studio I often suddenly find that it almost exactly matches the pattern on my studio floor or that the marks relate to the door frame. So I think it’s a process of absorbing ones surroundings, and the subtleties of speaking to place and function. 

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