Makers at the Workhouse Gallery
At the Workhouse Gallery we work with makers from across the UK but we especially enjoy working with local craftspeople such as ceramicist Malcolm Turner.
Raku by Malcolm Turner at the Workhouse Gallery
Malcolm's pottery is nestled in a wooded valley in a disused quarry near Knighton. "When I found a place to build my kiln I discovered that the locals called the place Smokey Quarry, or in one case, Smokey Dragon. Too good to waste as a name for a wood-fired kiln that is more than a little 'dragonish'."
Malcolm also has a a potters wheel and a small electric kiln in a shed behind his flat here in Presteigne. "I can make work here, bisque fire it and then transport it to Smokey Dragon where I glaze and fire it".
Malcolm has been building kilns and making pots for over 40 years, and his work employs the dramatic Japanese technique of Raku. Pots are fired to a high temperature and removed from the kiln while they are still glowing hot, then quenched in cold water and sawdust. Sometimes explosive reaction to this thermal shock produces crackle patterns in the glaze and a rich black in the uncovered clay.
Raku waiting to be fired
As well as making Raku pots, Malcolm has a wood-fired kiln in which he produces a wide range of high-fired work.
Malcolm, "Actually 'work' may not be the best word for what I presently do. In the past I sat at a wheel and made hundreds of pots for domestic use. I still like to use the wheel and I never make just one pot at a time but now I am free to play and experiment with a range of techniques. I suppose I'm a lucky man!"
Malcolm is presently making some porcelain pieces for the next wood-firing. All photos are from his Instagram account, with thanks.