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Pam ‘Can-Do Pottery’

Denise Ead

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Pam EllisMarpleRakuPotteryCan Do Pottery

Pam Ellis

Southend-on-Sea’s loss is Marple’s gain! Pam Ellis moved to Marple three years ago and “loves the place”. She finds “being semi-rural”, inspires her to make unique and beautiful pottery. Pam has developed her skills over the years, first attending classes down south and more recently, locally.

She set up a beginners’ teaching class where she taught students different hand-building techniques, starting with simple ‘pinch pots’ enabling the students to get the feel of the clay and give them confidence to progress to more complex ceramics. But as Pam says, “It should always be fun and enjoyable. There is no rush, go at your own pace and although sometimes a challenge, making pots should also be relaxing”.


Pam’s expertise includes hand-building, using various clays, throwing on the wheel, smoke-firing and Raku (the Japanese pottery traditionally used in tea ceremonies). She explained there are two main types of Raku: naked raku is unglazed and decorated with horsehair, feathers or other natural materials immediately after its removal from the raku kiln to obtain a rather beautiful effect; glazed raku is glazed prior to firing in a raku kiln. The pot is removed when red-hot and placed in a container with sawdust and other combustibles. The container is then sealed causing the fire to be starved of oxygen. The reaction as fire draws oxygen from the glaze and clay during this process affects the colour and metal elements in the glaze to create beautiful and truly unique designs.

Pam said, “It’s like Christmas when you open the kiln and see the colours on the pots, I am always surprised but I am still learning and sometimes the glazes do not turn out exactly the way you expect, but that is the joy and excitement of pottery”. If you need a special present, or just want to treat yourself, then there are imaginative and interesting pieces for you to purchase.

She is really keen to set up locally, teaching the art of pottery and sharing her skills. She is now looking for suitable premises locally that would cater for 10 adults, with storage facilities for supplies, equipment and students’ work. 

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