Herefordshire based artist, James Burnett-Stuart trained at the Harrow Studio Pottery course at Harrow College in the late 1980’s following a first degree in English Literature at Cambridge University. The rolling landscape, hedgerows and weather surrounding James’s Kington work studio all play a part in influencing his work which is further inspired by Japanese and European pottery and ancient Roman glass. James deliberately works to a scale which invites his pots to be picked up and used. Pieces which feel good in the hand.
“All my pots are made from red earthenware clay which is slipped with a lighter coloured clay, and glazed, possibly with a second layer. Many pots are thrown and often altered immediately — for example scalloped or fluted. Increasingly I like making pots freehand or with simple wooden moulds. This enables one to make pots that aren’t round.
I like the way pots enter our lives stealthily, benignly, and exert their quiet influence. As companions, offering beauty, comfort, practical service, sensuous experience all in a modest almost subliminal way. This is the beauty of pottery — that it lives side by side with us not calling for attention, and not provoking self-consciousness. But allowing, as it were by slow release, discoveries of depth and detail.
This is why I would always make mugs, cups, drinking vessels generally. Of all pots the cup is the one we have the most intimate relation with. We raise it to our lips, we cradle it, we wash it. Daily, several times a day. We have favourites. We cast our eye over their shelved ranks. We select or reject them according to our mood or according to some inward inclination we are hardly aware of.” James Burnett-Stuart