Joanna Oliver started her life as a potter at Standpoint Studios in Hoxton under the guidance of Nicola Tassie, later setting up her own studio in South Oxfordshire.
Joanna's workday starts with blowing the inevitable layer of dust off the ipod, putting on music and overalls, and wedging the clay. It never ceases to amaze Joanna the magic of being able to create something beautiful from a ball of mud. Perhaps only beaten by the moment she opens the kiln after a glaze firing to see all the glistening hot bowls inside. Just like opening a treasure chest.
There’s real alchemy involved with glazing, the unfired glaze bearing no comparison to the fired one. Glaze recipes are generously shared between potters – many that Joanna uses are oriental and have been used for hundreds of years. She particularly likes ash glazes and that involves gathering certain wood types from the surrounding countryside and then reducing them to ash in her stove. Washed and sieved they become an all important ingredient.
Joanna works in various stonewares and porcelain and the results are practical, lovely to use and pleasing to look at. The stoneware is fired to 1250 degrees making it safe to use in a domestic oven or microwave. It’s fine in a dishwasher too.