A skill shaped by ancient history
POTTER Tim Andrews has clay on his hands – and China on his mind.
The Devon craftsman with an international reputation took inspiration from ceramicists who worked centuries ago in the Middle Kingdom.
His next exhibition in Plymouth features pots he made after visiting kiln sites in China dating from the Sung Dynasty (969 to 1126).
That prompted him to strive to master difficult techniques and challenges to combine raku, porcelain and black stoneware. You can see the results at 45 Southside Gallery in the Barbican from March 2 to 31.
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Tim, who lives in east Devon, is known throughout Britain and abroad for his raku – Japanese style – and smoke-fired ceramics.
His pieces are in public and private collections and he has exhibited internationally including at the University of Rochester in New York and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Tim's career as a potter started with a link to the greatest name in British pottery, the Leach family.
He was apprenticed to, and later shared a studio with, David Leach, son of the man regarded as the greatest British potter, Bernard Leach.
"Ceramics doesn't recognise age and only nods its head occasionally towards experience," he says of his career, which now spans 35 years.
He sees the restrictions of the methods he uses as a source of inspiration rather than frustrations.
"I still find working within a limited colour palette provides endless possibilities. The same raw materials have been used for centuries: clay – river washed and stratified, metal oxides and minerals from the ground used to produce colour and depth in glazes."