Jacqui Atkin has been potting for twenty years, and during that time the main focuses of her work have encompassed low firing techniques and especially resist Raku. However, in an attempt to move away from this extreme firing process, recent work has been exploring new themes to create subtle surface treatments where either texture is used to create movement in a background for botanical imagery or surfaces are refined to create an eggshell like finish not unlike burnished surfaces of old. Jacqui has endeavoured to find a way of reproducing the very black surfaces created in Raku firing using engobes for dramatic colour variations
I am essentially interested in clay as an art form rather than for its functional properties so my work is mainly decorative – something beautiful to look at rather than use. Increasingly the work becomes more sculptural and abstract because form and surface design developments are what interest me most. Each piece is unique.
I use all making methods, regularly combining techniques to create composite shapes – moulded sections with slabbed additions, thrown sections with coiled additions etc., I also make tiles and wall plaques/installations – textured, patterned, colourful and including generic images of birds. However, commissions for this type of work have incorporated imagery of many kinds.
Inspiration for form and pattern is drawn from many sources but the view from my studio window which looks out over my garden and the woodland beyond in rural Shropshire has the most enduring influence, ever changing with the seasons, a rich palette of colour and shape.
Before moving to Shropshire I taught ceramics in colleges and for the NHS mental health service which teaches art as therapy. I exhibit in galleries throughout the UK and I have work in public collections at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and the City Museum Stoke on Trent.
I am a professional member of the Craft Potters Association and have four books about ceramics published to date. I am currently working on the 5th. – ‘Troubleshooting for Potters’
1988 – 90 Two year foundation course at South Manchester College
1990 – 92 Part time M O C F Ceramics course – South Manchester College
1992 – 94 BTEC Diploma in Design Ceramics – Manchester City College. Passed with distinction
1994 – Set up studio concentrating on low temperature firing techniques, primarily Smoke firing but including pit firing and Resist Raku.
May 2001 – selected for the CPA as a professional member.
1996 – Became a member of the North Wales Potters and joined the Gallery Co-operative in Conway in 2003.
Courses and workshops run annually from the studio focusing on making and firing techniques.
1997 – 2001 -Part time lecturer for BTEC and GMOCF – City College, Manchester,
1997 – 8 – GMOCF for adults, Ravensbury School, Manchester
1997 – Weekend workshop in smoke firing techniques, for North Wales Potters –
1998 – City College Summer School – Programme specialising in Raku and Smoke Firing.
1999 – City College Summer School – Pyromania 2
2000 – City College Summer school – Pyromania 3
1999 – 2001 – Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust – Department of Psychiatry Activity Service –Part time tutor of ceramics
2006 – Arddleen School – ceramic workshop
2008 – Raku master class for North Wales Potters at Coleg Menai
2011 – Smoke firing master class for North Wales Potters – Conwy.
2014 – Trouble shooting for Potters – Publisher –Barrons USA – UK publisher to be confirmed
2013 – Hand Made pottery Techniques Revealed – New edition with added projects.
2009 – ‘200 Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets’ – Publisher A&C Black
2008 – ‘The Tile Artist’s Motif Bible’ – American Publisher Barrons
2006 – ‘Pottery Basics’ – American Publisher – Barrons UK Publisher – A&C Black
2004 – ‘Hand Built Pottery Techniques Revealed’ – American publisher – Barrons