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P E T E R   S P A R R E Y

"My use of bold colour has a rebellious nature that seems to contradict the
subtle tones more commonly associated with ancient pottery, yet its use in my
work serves to manifest the intensity of the raku process itself."

"I was twelve years old when I built my first raku kiln. Constructed from donated red house bricks and a length of asbestos pipe as a chimney extension. Fired by wood (pine flooring planks 'discovered' in my parents' attic). The firings were a success. Watching the melting glaze through a spyhole in the kiln, gently bubbling away as if alive, eventually settling to a smooth molten treacle like sheen. It was magical, these early experiences were inceptive, marking my first 'solo' firings and laying the foundations of resourcefulness essential to my creative life as a potter."

 

"During my formative years I was hugely influenced by my father's keen interest in antiquities and his vast array of books on the subject. He was an avid relic collector. Visits to museums and ancient ruins were frequent. The classic forms, especially of the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age subsequently embedded themselves within my mind. This entwined with my love of playing with fire (a tendency I picked up from my mother who adored her Sunday bonfires)."

"My use of bold colour has a rebellious nature that seems to contradict the subtle tones more commonly associated with ancient pottery, yet its use in my work serves to manifest the intensity of the raku process itself. Firing by this technique is spontaneous, reactive and inflamed with passion, demanding scrupulous planning, optimal concentration and precise timings. All of this having been said, there are many bad days at the office. Good firing, bad firing...one thing for sure, I'm well and truly kippered!"

Peter Sparrey was born in 1967, Worcestershire, England. He first discovered clay and the potters wheel at school, aged eleven. It was this early introduction that triggered his ambition to become a potter. 

Peter has been potting full-time since leaving school at sixteen. After serving a three year apprenticeship as a production thrower at the Guernsey Pottery, Channel Islands, he set up his first professional studio in 1987.

From 1996 to 1999 Peter was based for much of his time exhibiting, teaching and kiln building in Kuwait, Middle East. Here he fronted a pioneering venture sponsored by the British Council, The British School of Kuwait and British Studio Arts, with the aim of establishing an ‘East meets West’ link with Kuwaiti potters’.From 2004 to 2012 Peter established a new studio in Normandy, France. He has now returned to live in the UK with his wife and young family in rural Herefordshire.

C U R R E N T   W O R K