Paul Westley - Paul Westley
My first experience of potting was when making mud pinch pots in the garden as a young child. My creative drive took me down the self-employed path of graphic, book and web design and also a little illustration work. Many years later a chance encounter with a potter producing 'square' pots reignited the intrigue and I was hooked – taking creativity into the third dimension.
The majority of my pieces are wheel-thrown functional items for use around the home and for the individual, although I am always producing larger experimental pieces and occasionally hand-built work. I use stoneware clays fired to 1240˚C in an electric kiln, both white and 'iron bearing' fleck clays. I am constantly developing (and evolving) my own glazes and am especially attracted to glazes that react when used in tandem or with the clay body itself.
Occasionally I get the opportunity to fire my work in different kiln environments such as salt-fired, soda-fired, wood-fired, smoke-fired or gas reduction. I have also produced Raku fired pieces and worked with lower temperature earthenware clays.
I continue to develop new designs and styles with a leaning towards working with texture and decoration. I am a member of Anglian Potters (an association of over 400 potting members) which continues not only to be an inspiration but also a source of support and knowledge in the often bewildering world of ceramics.