ARTISTS at Work Series - 2

KEVIN AKHURST – Potter/Ceramics

Kevin works from his large spacious studio at home in Adbury Holt. The space is organised in areas for different stages of the process, from receiving the clay to throwing pots, biscuit firing the pieces, glazing them and finally firing them outside in his wood-fired kiln that he built himself in 2015. There are shelves everywhere with pots in different stages of the process. The pots will all be fired and ready for display in time for Open Studios in May.

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When I visit, Kevin is throwing a pot and experimenting with a few new tools he has got recently for decorating pots; a mechanical mechanism from a pencil sharpener and a handmade wood and wire faceting tool. I stay while he goes through the process of throwing, centering, opening, pulling, and decorating the pot. There is control at each stage, his hands move precisely but there is still room for experimentation and decision making along the way, the process is fast but not as much as I thought, there is time for aesthetic decisions to be made.

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After he finishes throwing the pot it is separated from the wooden batt with a twisted wire cutter so that it can dry and shrink without cracking. The pot is then left to dry for a week before doing a first firing at 1,000°C, then it is glazed and fired again, this time the temperature goes up to 1,300°C when the clay vitrifies and will not be porous anymore.

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Kevin is excited as he is planning the loading of his wood-fired kiln for his fourth firing within one year and is meticulously planning which piece will go where within the kiln. We will need to wait to the Open Studios show to see the results.

This year, Kevin has invited .................... They await your visit and will welcome you to the pottery studio and show of their work– for full details, follow the link.

ARTISTS at Work Series

In 2016, Open Studios invited Isabel Carmona to start a series of Graphic Interviews of artists to make a personal connection with the variety of visual art forms that are represented in Open Studios. We are lucky to have such a great number of artists that open their doors throughout May in West Berkshire and North Hampshire. It can be daunting to choose where to go. With this series, we hope to bring you a flavour of what to expect, what to talk about with each artist and to present them in a human light, finding out how they got where they are now.


Click on the images above to open high resolution versions on-screen.

All drawings are by Isabel Carmona-Andreu (

Contact: Open Studios: John Brazendale, or 01635 551981


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