Q & A with Kirsty Adams
Location: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Please describe your creative process/practice:
With a delicate style of throwing, poured and dipped glazing techniques, I have created a unique collection of tableware and studio ceramics. Each piece contains elements of individuality and spontaneity, with refined throwing lines, combined with the incidental marks and story of the glazing technique.
After training for my degree in Wood, Metal, Ceramics, Plastics at Brighton my main inspiration and methods of working were developed whilst living and working in Japan. I travelled to Japan after being selected by the Japanese Embassy’s Council for Local and International Relations for the JET Cultural Exchange program. I became particularly inspired by the Oribe style of glazing which influenced my subsequent work and lead to my winning an award and the opportunity to exhibit my tableware in Tokyo.
I set up my business in the year 2000 after receiving backing from the Prince’s Trust. Shortly after, I was selected by the Crafts Council to export work to Scandinavia as part of their Chelsea Crafts Fair Scandinavian award.
In 2017 I was selected by the Crafts Council to produce a bespoke collection for the National Trust, for launch in 2018-19. I introduced my Icelandic collection in 2019, inspired by the otherworldliness of Iceland’s landscapes and recently developed a limited-edition tea bowl collection to celebrate 25 years since training in Japan. I was recently very honoured to have been chosen to make commemoration mugs for all 350 participants of the 2023 Associated Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Summer School. I am a selected member and regional coordinator of Design Nation UK, a member of the Crafts Council Directory and have recently been selected by the Michelangelo Foundation for their prestigious Homo Faber Guide for excellence in craftsmanship.
I am listed in the collector’s handbook of ‘British Studio Potters Marks’ and now work from my studio in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Your influences and motivations:
The celebration of process is a big motivation for my work. I also seek out cultural references/influences whether it be Japan, Icelandic, National Trust Heritage through Nostell Priory Estate or Northumberland landscape. I use authentic Japanese tools and techniques to make my pieces and the story of the making and glazing process are visible within each piece.
What makes your work unique? Anything from materials, tools, are you a Heritage craft maker?
I make using wooden comb tools and other shaping tools which I brought back from Japan after receiving my training there. Authenticity is very important to me and making cultural references within my work, whether it be Japan, Iceland, heritage within the UK eg through my collection developed for the National Trust or my shoreline pebble dishes influenced by the Northumberland coastline.
- Kirsty Adams Ceramics, Reykjanes Moon Jar,
10.5cm x 33cm, black stoneware, copper green and rutile, £485.
Kirsty Adams Ceramics, Moon Jar, 3.5cm x 12.5cm,
Onyx porcelain and cobalt blue, £75.