People ask me how did I get into making pottery?
I come from a creative family, my dad, Rodney ingram, was a brilliant bird artist and both he and my mum found ways to encourage my artistic nature. They encouraged me in everything I did, and aged 13 I had a day with a local potter and was hooked on the clay.
I did a degree in Ceramics at Loughborough in the late 1980’s and then had community arts roles before a self owned slip casting and tubelining pottery business in my 20’s, growing my wholesale and retail businesses before the advent of the internet!
While my own children were growing up I took a detour into Children’s Services roles, through Playwork, Early Years and Social Care management before emerging in my 50’s to dedicate more energy to ceramics and spend time with my Mum, a talented marketing professional, now retired with lots of skills to lend to selling my work.
I started painting birds designs, something I didn’t do when my dad was alive as he was the expert, on the new thrown and slab build creatures I made when I started Louise Crookenden-Johnson Ceramics in 2017.
I’ve always loved working in earthenware clay and majolica in particular, where the glaze is applied to the once fired bisque pottery to leave a powdery surface. The ceramic colours are then painted onto this surface which doesn’t leave much room for error! On the up side you get the vibrant, immediate colours that characterise my work and help me shape the characters of the birds and animals I adore. Each one is individually painted by hand, a little work of art in its own right and then fired to the final bright shiny glazed finish.
People often remark that my illustrations are reminiscent of children’s books and I recognise that I was very much a product of the 1940’s and 50’s children’s books of my Mums that I grew up with. I can remember them vividly.
I am so enjoying working in clay and mastering the many other skills that go along with my artisan business. I use beautiful sustainable giftwrap and packaging to mail my orders and I am so lucky that my husband, CJ, is a postie and takes my orders with him to post at work each day.
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