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Philip Wilks

I was introduced to ceramics at Batley College of Art and Design where I studied on the Foundation course between the years 1973 – 75. From there I specialised in ceramics on the B. A. Hons Three Dimensional Design course at Loughborough college of Art and Design, 1975 – 78, graduating with an Upper Second.

I moved to Brighton in 1979 to qualify as a teacher and taught in the area for some ten years, married and had two sons. I now live in Northamptonshire with my family and for the last twelve years have been the Head of Design and Technology at an Upper School in North Bedfordshire.

When I graduated from Loughborough college of Art and Design I exhibited/sold my work at Batley Art Gallery in a three-person show. Whilst in Sussex I produced individual stoneware slab form ceramic pieces and during my last year there I exhibited/sold work in the Hugo Barclay Designer Connections Gallery in Brighton.

Having given my time to a career in teaching, raising a family and building our home, I have now returned to producing individual pieces of pottery. After developing my glazes and work for a year and a half my work is now displayed and sold in Primavera Gallery, Cambridge. My ambition is to work full time as a potter, to display and sell my work, in the first instance, nationally and then internationally. My current work is in porcelain, which is hand thrown and in contrast I also make stoneware slab pots.

 With reference to my hand thrown porcelain, one of my fondest memories of studying at Loughborough was the time spent with David Leach who as a visiting professional instructed in the craft of wheel thrown pots; we later visited him at his studio and also Colin Kellam in Totness. These experiences strongly influenced and informed my values and beliefs. Form, Function and Craft are equally important to me and whilst I strive to create finely made pieces that are pleasing both visually and to hold, they are also functional. Harmony and Purity of form are central to my current work, inspired by natural forms, as well as the attraction and challenge of mastering the skills necessary to achieve such simple looking pieces.

My slab-pots are constructed and decorated solely by hand, using black slip, glaze and gold lustre. Each piece is the result of many hours work and numerous firings. The inspiration for this work is derived from the study of natural rock forms and architecture, which I am developing within the basic form of a geometric vessel where the juxtaposition of line, shape and form are explored.
In addition to my work being displayed and sold through Primavera Gallery I also have a website which can be used to commission work.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 7 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.