John Shirley | Episode 85
John Shirley works in bone-china. Most of John’s work is decorated with soluble salts which have a tendency to permeate the surface of the work adding subtle watercolor effects and creating an ethereal quality. John is a fellow of Ceramics Southern Africa and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.
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That’s quite hard to answer, I think it’s opening a kiln. When I open a kiln there is always something, every pot I look at I can see somewhere it could be better and I think that’s what keeps me going.
WHAT KIND OF HABITS DO YOU KEEP IN PLACE TO KEEP YOUR SKILLS SHARP?
Just do as much as I can. Teaching is the most wonderful way of developing one’s own work.
The favorite thing is opening kilns. I love to see what has happened. The decorating process is the part of the process that appeals to me the most.
HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU SPEND ON YOUR OWN WORK?
On my own work I spend one day a week. I teach five days a week and I have one day a week for my own work.
SOMEONE WANTS TO BECOME A BETTER AND MORE WELL-ROUNDED POTTER WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST THAT THEY DO?
My first suggestion is just keep doing. Just keep on with what you are doing. Read books, go onto the internet, there are so many resources today to look at work. And be true to yourself. That is also quite an important thing not to be too influenced by what other people are doing. Make the work you want to be making for yourself, not making that work you make because you think it will sell better.