Unique Stoneware Gifts from Lesley McShea
By Dieneke Ferguson
Ceramicist and potter Lesley McShea, describes herself as a ‘punk potter’. Her lovely studio is based in Stoke Newington in Church Street Workshops where she has been since 1997. She also lives nearby and being interested in ancient architecture and memorials she loves her local cemetary, Abney Park Cemetary. She finds the memorials, and their weathering textures, carvings and uniqueness incredibly inspiring.
Lesley makes custom designed hand-made ceramics and her personalised stoneware mugs and vases are particularly liked as gifts. Although each piece appears similar, there are subtle differences that make each piece unique and a one off. Lesley likes to think of her pieces as personalities, (her babies) with their own “foibles” and characters. She is still able to produce sets upon request.
Her work is mainly wheel thrown and she uses very sandy clay to create a textured feel to the piece. She contrasts functional shiny glaze finishes with bare clay areas, to be true to the materials she uses. She mixes her own glazes to glaze recipes she has collated.
In addition to the work that is for sale on the Hidden Art E-Shop she also undertakes many commissions and she inscribes any personalised messages on her giftware, which make the pieces more unique and individual. She has even been commissioned to make personal and pet urns.
She has been passionate about ceramics for as long as she can remember. She learned to throw on the wheel when she was 17, has a BA (Honours) at Middlesex (London) and did her “Sandwich” year placement with Emmanuel Cooper OBE, where she tested 650 glaze recipes for his book “Glazes” Cooper Batsford.