For this month’s Meet the Maker interview, we got chatting to the lovely Sheffield-based ceramicist, Carla Murdoch. We absolutely love Carla’s pottery forms and the muted and natural glazes she creates. We’ve been lusting after one of her ramen bowls for some time...
Read on to learn more about Carla’s journey into ceramics, the inspiration found in archeology and some sound advice and reminders for those starting out...
How did you first get into ceramics?
In 2005 when I left 6th form and enrolled at college, my intention was to do graphics. Part of the course was to test out lots of different creative subjects, life drawing, woodwork, jewellery, textiles and more.
The minute I touched the clay I knew that's what I wanted to focus on. I then went to the University of Sunderland to study Glass and Ceramics, although I enjoyed glass, I stuck with ceramics.
After leaving University I had a break from making, until 2016 when I got a job as a pottery and sculpture tutor, this opened the doors back up and in 2018 I decided to take the step and go full time self employed.
Can you tell us how your first project went?
The first ever project in clay was ceramic buttons. It allowed the tutor to show us lots of ceramic techniques on a small scale.
They were really good fun and that opened up endless possibilities.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It's difficult to point out anything specific, but I love archaeology and looking at 1000's of year old pots, as well as rummaging around antique shops.
I am always interested in how something is made, especially without the modern day technologies and knowledge.
What do you love most about the process?
Glazing, it's the bit that finishes off the piece and the amount of different colours, textures and styles that can be created fascinates me.
I enjoy making too, there's not much of the process I don't enjoy.
What would be your best advice for those starting out?
Patience, clay can't be rushed. Take your time and practice. Listen to what feels natural.
What’s next for you, any upcoming projects you’re working on?
I am working on a little garden series for the summer. I recently made some bigger garden pots and had a few requests to make items for the garden.
There will be plant tags and forage bowls too, for when the fruits and vegetables are getting ready to be picked.
This summer I plan on building a wood kiln in the garden, I am just waiting for the weather to pick up to get going!
Thanks so much to Carla for being a part of our Meet the Maker series! It was a joy to find out more about Carla’s experience in pottery and her upcoming garden projects, including building the wood kiln!
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