An interview with Lucy Ogden – Ceramist

Hello and welcome back to the Artists and Makers fair blog, this will be our final post for the year as the fair is upon us! Don’t forget to come along this Saturday 1st December 2018 in Lewes Town Hall 10am to 5pm to kick your Christmas shopping off in style whilst also raising money for Western Road Primary school!

As this is the final post it is important that we take this opportunity to thank ‘The Team’ behind the scenes, who work so so hard to get the brilliant Artists and Makers fair off the ground and are responsible for making it runs so smoothly – they really all are an incredible bunch. Also, we also want to give our thanks to every volunteer who make the fair such a great success each year. If it weren’t for people giving up their valuable time the fair would really not be possible so THANK YOU!!!

Now here, for our final interview of the series we have Lucy Ogden. A ceramist with 25 years experience behind her. Lucy’s work is often inspired by the South Downs and also by her two Lurchers who she walks there every day. Working using the time-consuming but beautiful paper-resist method of decorating ceramics, Lucy makes a small quantity of unique and stunning pieces. Some of which you will be lucky enough to see on Saturday! Here is more about the artist herself…


Have you always wanted to work as a ceramist?

I fell in love with pottery when I did a little at school but didn’t continue with it
until I did an evening class in my early 20s.

How did your career get started?

In many ways I think my career has only just got started. For years I was
making very different work, mainly wheel thrown and decorated with hand
brushed patterns. I didn’t feel particularly proud of my what I did, it was just
what I did. Then a couple of years ago I changed my working practices
completely and decided to make my work much more illustrative. I’m finding it
so incredibly enjoyable and it seems to be much more popular too!

20181115_152747Can you describe your creative process?

I’m always thinking about my work, ideas popping around in my head
constantly. Once I’ve decided on a road to go down design wise, I do a few
quick drawings then move on to cutting shapes out of pieces of paper. I use a
paper resist method to create my designs, this involves painting the ceramic
piece with coloured slip, applying the paper shapes then painting over with
more slip. Once the slip is dry I remove the paper to reveal the design, I then
add details with sgraffito and hand painting. The pieces then dry slowly before
being fired.

How do you choose your designs? Where do you take your inspiration from?

My designs are mainly inspired by nature, more specifically by my walks on
the South Downs and also fairy tales and children’s books.

20181105_120040How has your style changed over the years? How would you describe your
style now?

It has become far more illustrative, I would describe it as contemporary
illustrated ceramics.

What is the most challenging part about your work as an artist?

Learning to be patient, very important in ceramics, waiting for the kiln to cool
down and not rushing things!

Where do you work? Can you describe your workspace?

I work in a studio in my garden, a 20” x 10” shed with a kiln, wheel and lots of
worktop and shelves.

What is your typical working day?

My day starts with an early walk with my lurchers then into my studio by
8.30am. There is no typical day, it just depends on where I’m at with the latest
batch, so I could be wedging, weighing, rolling out, mixing up colours,
decorating, designing, glazing, packing orders, website and paper work. The
day ends when it ends, often far too late.

Hannah Ryggen, Drømmedød (Death of dreams), 1936. © Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum National Museum of Decorative Arts
Hannah Ryggen, Drømmedød (Death of dreams), 1936. © Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum National Museum of Decorative Arts

If you could meet an artist or maker from history who would it be
and why?

I would be fascinated to meet Norweigan textile artist Hannah Ryggen. She
made tapestries that were beautiful and shocking responses to the Nazi
occupation of Norway. She used abstract pattern and colour alongside a
compelling narrative.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in ceramics?

My advice would be work out what you love about ceramics and do that. Don’t
waste any time trying to do what you think others might like and just keep at it!


So that’s a wrap for another year. Thanks for reading the posts and for all your love and support for the fair. We will look forward to seeing you all there on Saturday!

Merry Christmas!


The Lewes Home


An interview with Lisa Hamilton – Jewellery designer and maker.


One of the truly great things about the Artists and Makers fair is the sheer diversity of wonderful wares we have to fall in love with. So far in this series of pre-fair interviews we have met a screen printer, a ceramacist, an upholsterer, a wood cut printer and this is really just the tip of the iceberg! This week we are going to introduce you to another fantastic maker – Lisa Hamilton, a jeweller. Continue reading “An interview with Lisa Hamilton – Jewellery designer and maker.”