Ceramic Artist Andrew Adair on letter bottles and Glasgow attitudes

Andrew Adair. Picture: Neil Hanna
Andrew Adair. Picture: Neil Hanna
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How did you end up doing what you do?

I fell in love with pottery and printmaking in my foundation year at Carlisle, then went on to specialise in ceramics at Glasgow School of Art. After graduating I worked at The Dalhousie Lane Studios, in Glasgow, surrounded by some fantastic potters, both in the quality of their work and their attitude. It was the best possible environment for a new graduate... a healthy mix of enthusiasm and cynicism. Very Glasgow.

Who or what inspires you?

Whilst at Glasgow I was very lucky to be tutored by the Australian potter, Alan Peascod. Through him I came to better understand the importance of surface and form and their relationship to each other. In more general terms, chimney pots, tin cans, tree bark, rusty metal... it’s all good.

What is your starting point for any new project?

I don’t really have one. Most ideas are borne out of playing with the clay itself and similar themes keep popping up in new guises. Letters are a fascination and I recently met another potter who confessed that she often writes out the whole alphabet. Nice to know that I’m not the only one.

What designers/makers do you admire?

I love the pottery of Alan Peascod, Colin Pearson and Pete Voulkos. There are lots of potters whose work I admire, but these three are my heroes. Their work is all about integrity and the clay. No need for superficial intellectual packaging.

Is there any object you desire?

Any pot by my three ceramic heroes.

Were you involved in craft from an early age?

Not really. Could usually be found up a tree or down a gully.

What makes a home?

My wife and children, and oodles of art festooning every available space.

What is your idea of a great escape?

Somewhere warm and quiet by the coast. And no technology.

Do you prefer to camp under the stars or hotel comforts?

Something in between. A private villa or cottage.

Big screen movie or TV drama?

Big screen every time.

Best music to work to?

Everything and anything. Though you can’t beat a bit of rip-snorting AC/DC, cranked up full blast, now and again.

What book would you recommend to a friend?

Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver trilogy...an epic ripping yarn.

What is the best thing about living in Dumfries and Galloway?

The wide open space and a gentle pace of life.

What are you working on at the moment?

Developing the letter bottles for the Craft Scotland Summer Show in Edinburgh, playing with new clays and firing temperatures.

What makes you laugh?

Good company and a relaxed environment. Occasionally in a local tavern. k

Andrew’s work will be on display at Craft Scotland’s Summer Show, 2nd floor, White Stuff, George Street, Edinburgh 2-26 August 

For further information search Andrew Adair on: www.axisweb.org