learn about taking a pottery course at Aragorn's Studio,
The pottery studio is a workshop and showcase for the
creative ceramic designs of our resident potters, Debbie
Entwistle and Liz Crowley.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR NEW POTTERY PHOTO GALLERY!
Debbie Entwistle has been making ceramics at Aragorn's
Studio since 2005. A large portion of her work involves
designing and making wheel thrown and slab built tableware.
In addition to domestic pottery, Debbie also makes larger
decorative wall pieces and jewelry.
Born in the UK, Debbie graduated from Manchester Metropolitan
University with a BA hons. in 3D Design. She then moved
to the Republic of Ireland to continue her studies and
training with The Crafts Council of Ireland's Pottery
Skills Course. She has worked as a production thrower
in several Irish potteries, including Steven Pearce in
Co. Cork, and Kylemoor Abbey in Connemara, Co. Galway,
before she dropped everything to come and work in the
Caribbean for Aragorn.
"My passion is for throwing. The process of throwing,
and even the finished ware itself, encapsulates many opposing
but complimentary concepts. Finished pieces are fired
so hard they will last a thousand lifetimes, yet still
bear the softly made marks of the hands that created them.
The softness of the material is still there, to see and
feel, even though it is not.
Throwing on a potter's wheel is a dynamic process. It
is an exhilarating balancing act, this spinning of soft
collapsible clay, up and out into the shape of a pot.
The potter must understand and control the centrifugal
forces acting on the clay. They must understand with their
fingers the strength of the material. They must understand
the part that gravity plays and learn how to counteract
that force with the structure they spin. Throwing can
require weight and brutality, as when making a large pot.
But when finishing a pot, drawing the final gesture of
its shape, throwing is the most sensuous, subtle and delicate
thing my fingers are capable of.
The decoration of my pots is quite abstract. I like to
use bright vibrant glazes (many of which are my own recipes),
often applied in a serendipitous manner, but complimenting
the form of the piece. I want my work to speak of my environment
and my experience of life on a Caribbean island. I strive
for a feeling of exuberance in the colours and qualities
of the glazes I use; The inspiration for these coming
from the colours and qualities I see around me in the
Debbie enjoys wine, cheese, science fiction, fried plantain
Liz Crowley has been working at Aragorns’ Studio for the
past two years. She gained the majority of her ceramic
training in Ireland, where she’s from, and has been producing
pottery for the last couple of years. She started her
training at the National College of Art and Design where
she graduated in ceramics and later completed the Pottery
Skills Course run by the Craft Council of Ireland. This
lead to a change from making sculptural ceramics to creating
work produced on the potters’ wheel. Liz has worked for
Castle Arch Pottery Co.Kilkenny and gained further experience
in various potteries around Ireland.
“I have always had an interest in the natural world around
me which probably lead to me making art from a material
that comes from the earth. I love the versatility of clay
and the fact it offers so many endless techniques and
results that in a life time with clay you never stop learning.
Since moving to Tortola I’ve become more interested in
the decoration of pots and am enjoying the use of sgraffito(
a coloured liquid clay applied to the surface of a pot
and then scratched away to create a pattern). The vivid
colours and landscape of the island has been a great influence
to me and my work has become brighter and more illustrative”.
When not making pots Liz enjoys a cold beer or a cup of
tea while listening to Queen
Our potters design and throw a wonderful selection of
kitchen and tableware pieces. This includes a wide assortment
of mugs, bowls and plates. Sushi sets, made up of tray
and ramekin (for soy sauce), add a beautiful accent to
your table and make great gifts! In our studio you will
also find large serving platters, salad bowls, even tea
kettles enhanced by custom glazing or hand drawn designs.
The pottery studio also features beautiful and unique
ceramic pieces to decorate your home. Our Ceramic Fireballs
continue to be a favorite among local collectors and visitors
alike. These are miniature, ceramic versions of Aragorn’s
metal Full Moon Party Fireballs. The process of carving
and Raku firing a fireball makes each one unique; a one
of a kind piece found only at Aragorn’s Studio.
Creating a Fireball
Each fireball is hand thrown on the potters’ wheel to
create a hollow sphere. The design is hand drawn onto
the sphere and then carved. Once bisque fired the balls
are fired again using a technique called ‘Raku’ that originated
in Japan in the 17th century. This technique involves
removing the pots from the kiln when the kiln has reached
its top temperature of 1000°C or 1700°F. Once out of the
kiln, the fireballs are placed into metal trash cans containing
shredded paper. The heat of the ball ignites the paper
causing flames to leap up. The lid is then closed eliminating
the oxygen supply. The flames draw the oxygen out of the
glazes on the fireball producing the amazing metallic
effects and beautiful luster seen on the finished product.
Plates with Tea Candle Holder