Get to know the artists and creators who design, construct, and produce your favorite Ayr Barns pieces in our Meet the Maker series. Miranda Berrow is a ceramic artist based in Dorset, along the Jurassic Coast of southern England. Between hand-building and forming beautiful clay works like our Symmonds Mug, Miranda took a few moments to share with us her inspirations and clues into her creative process.
When did you first start making pottery?
I started when my girls were still young and they are all fast approaching 30+.
I went to Art School at St Martins
in London in the early 1980's and trained as a fashion designer— I had also applied to a ceramic BA in Bristol but opted for London, which I enjoyed but deep inside remained curious about clay. I am self taught so I only know what I have learned by asking or trialing and or better still making the mistake and finding some very interesting and unexpected results.
What material do you use when crafting your pottery?
I work in "Studio White" which is a very unexceptional clay but it takes oxides and colours like blotting paper, an earthenware like a terracotta but white.
Tell us how the Symmonds Mug is made?
The Symmonds Mug I design and have made in Sri Lanka. They make (in their tiny factory) the white earthenware and they fire it to a really high temperature which makes it extremely resistant for every-day use. It is glazed in a semi-flat off-white glaze which makes it a little thicker as it is a clay based glaze, not a shiny vitreous glaze.
What are your inspirations?
I love and respect many a creative—
Hilton Nell, the South African potter for his humour, and Rupert Spira, for his elegant thoughtful shapes and extraordinary glazes, Sandy Brown for the freedom and bravery with which she makes.
I work most everyday of the week and try to keep the weekends free. At the moment I am hand building, coiling, making vases and jugs for a show later in the year.
I am drawn to colour and patterns, textiles and textures. Organic looking objects and rich smells.
Gardens and outdoor spaces.
I live by the sea on the south Coast of Dorset, and spend an inordinate amount of time in my garden growing vegetables and lots of flowers that smell delicious.
How do you take your tea or coffee?
A small morning coffee before leaving for the studio.