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Sally Dorrity’s Hand Built Stoneware – “It’s a bit like building a wall”

Blog by Peter Baird

Sally’s fascination with ceramics began many years ago at evening class where she learned to throw and became familiar with the basics of working with clay and glazes, principally creating functional ware. Her move to Oxford 14 years ago coincided with an interest in creating larger pieces and her focus moved to hand building, teaching herself the style she still uses so effectively today. Sally explains: “It’s a bit like building a wall. You work up from the base, using small pieces of clay which are left to firm up before continuing until you gave a medium to large unique piece of hand-built stoneware.”

Her beautiful textures and fusion of colours are achieved by literally throwing glaze at the pots, deliberately leaving some areas unglazed, and allowing the asymmetric patterns to emerge on the symmetrical form. The nooks and crannies she’s created in the building process add to the textural variation, as some areas hold more glaze than others.

The resulting pots are gorgeous, frost resistant works of art, ideal for eye-catching garden locations. About 25% of all her pieces end up in outdoor settings, including bird baths, flower pots and centrepiece vases, and with the stunning abstract turquoises and rustic browns, her creations are truly outstanding.

It was as a result of Covid lockdowns however that Sally “discovered” Instagram as a platform to promote her work and now she finds herself with a “Hobby gone bonkers” as she puts it. “There’s nothing like the amazing feeling you get, the first time you sell something” she says, explaining that you can find her ceramics on sale all over the South of England, from pop-up shops to galleries and craft fairs.

And it’s her collaboration with photographers and artists in joint exhibitions, carefully curated to sympathetically match colour palettes, that creates a perfect environment to introduce her unique art to a wider audience.

Visit Sally’s website here to find out more about her work, upcoming exhibitions and stockists, and follow her on Instagram @sally.dorrity

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