T I M   C O P S E Y

Tim Copsey makes wood-fired pots that inhabit the border between function and sculpture.


I’ve worked as an artist and film maker for over 30 years. Some years ago, after an absence I re-engaged with pottery and the material recognition and muscle memory was emotional and visceral. Within a year I’d built a wood-fired kiln and started a studio, The intention is to ‘forget' about ‘perfect’ forms, to embrace chance and investigate functional pottery at a sculptural level.


My studio is in the Dark Peak District where the landscape and seasons are the backdrop to everything that I do. Like many other artists that I admire, Japanese and early English forms and techniques inform much of what I make. While I’m inspired by the sculptural approaches to making in essence I'm making simple plates, bowls, cups, vases and bottles.

Like most potters I’m not tied to one technique - I coil, slab, throw and carve, often on the same pot. Some pieces are made very quickly others take years; they rest in the garden. Thrown pieces are altered, hand-shaped and slab work are finished on the wheel. Canvas slings and gravity shape my round vase forms and big bowls. Even fired pieces can be cut, ground, reconfigured and ‘glued’ using low-firing clays.

A combination of commercial black, white and grogged stoneware clays are adapted as are slips with 'found' materials such as the local Bleaklow grit, Withernsea beach clay and other ‘inclusions’. Glazes are simple; ash, shino (feldspar and salt) and oribe. The wood-firing process develops an organic and elemental finish to the work and very often pieces are fired more than once. I use a very small electric kiln to ‘final’ fire using additional tinted glazes and lustres and I often add gilded stone inclusions and surprising touches of colour.

My hope, is that the work is playful, that they have the capacity to surprise and delight, Ideally that there’s a resonance between their materiality and landscape from which they derive.'

C U R R E N T   W O R K