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Ceramic Review is the magazine for contemporary and historical ceramics, ceramic art and pottery.

Ceramic Review Issue 327

May/June 2024

Ceramic artist Emily Myers takes us step-by-step through the processes she uses to throw, glaze and carve one of her signature Carved Ball forms

My happy introduction to clay was as a 12-year-old child at King Alfred School in North London. I have stayed with pottery ever since and had several solo exhibitions, including shows at the Contemporary Ceramics gallery in London. I now live with my family in a quiet wooded spot in North Hampshire.

After a Foundation Course at Camberwell College of Arts, I completed a degree in ceramics at Bristol School of Art between 1983 and 1987. While I was there, I was particularly influenced by my tutor Walter Keeler and my friend and mentor Clare Conrad. I returned to London to work and shared studio spaces in London Bridge and Hoxton where there was a vibrant craft scene. A significant year in my career was 1990, as not only was it when I met my future husband Matt Somerville, I received a Crafts Council setting up grant and also become a member of the Craft Potters Association. 

Emily Myers Masterclass for Ceramic Review Magazine.

Emily Myers Masterclass for Ceramic Review Magazine.


My making style has covered several incarnations over the years, but the wheel has always been central to my studio practice. My degree show in 1987 was a collection of crazy exhaust pipe forms. Later, I concentrated on dishes with extruded rims, then playful lidded pots based on circus tents. Thrown and altered rocking pots were subsequently followed by precise faceted and carved forms that often use a spiral motif. Each of my pieces starts life on the wheel but the more interesting part happens at the leatherhard stage when  I alter the forms in various ways. I often cut the pots off their bases and flatten or tilt them, some are given indentations, faceted with a cheese cutter or carved with  a loop turning tool. I find the work both exacting and time-consuming.



Control and precision are important aspects of my work, as is a desire to achieve quiet, pleasing, balanced forms. Inspiration can come from a wide range of sources including organic seed pod forms, ancient verdigris helmets or mechanical cogs. The processes shown in this step-by-step Masterclass  illustrate the making of my signature Carved Ball. The strength of this piece comes from the precision of the spiral stripes, which define the form. The matte barium glaze and contrasting red stoneware clay make the finished pieces look almost like metal.

For more details visit emilymyers.com

Emily Myers Masterclass for Ceramic Review Magazine.