Both beautiful and useful

Lucy Winch ceramic cupThe glazes used by Lucy Winch create landscapes and shores around the edges of her ceramics. Endless skies meet moors and lakes glint so darkly blue that they could be brimming with ink that will stain the lips of anyone who drinks from them. There’s a poetry to Lucy’s work, and yet what she makes is almost always useful in some way. They are vessels for liquid and food, linocut cards, and cosy crocheted booties.

Lucy Winch ceramic deer lino print

“Crafting is actually my hobby,” Lucy says. “I hope in the future to be able to sell my ceramics for a living but with a young family and mortgage I choose to stay in my current job which is a clinical scientist in radiotherapy!”

Lucy Winch crochet booties

It wasn’t until after having her first child that Lucy learned how to crochet, “which is when I started to make my baby booties with a sheepskin sole. They were so expensive in the shops that I wanted to make them accessible to new parents, knowing their babies would grow very quickly. This is when I began to explore wool as a medium and realised I have a real affinity for it.”

Lucy has always loved art, developing “the bug for ceramics” after she began a training post in Stoke on Trent about 16 years ago. “A flatmate came home with some pottery and I was amazed that you could still learn such a thing, and so I did a GCSE in ceramics.”

She has attended evening classes ever since, exploring ways to make art that also has a purposeful element. “I’m a very practical person which is why I think I have a love of functional ware,” she says. “My favourite ceramic medium is a wonderful French stoneware clay I buy from a ceramicist in the Gower.”

Lucy Winch ceramic vessels

It wasn’t until Lucy moved to Easton that she began to sell her work to help fund her evening classes. “The Easton Arts Trail was the perfect introduction to selling my work and I realised I loved meeting likeminded people and chatting about anything and everything!”

Crafty Blackbird bowl

Lucy’s love of natural hues influences her work. “I love blues and greens and my preferred method of glazing is dipping my pots in glaze, but since I changed evenings classes to Maze studios I’ve started to try different techniques.”

Lucy Winch pot with lid

Inspiration for her artwork abounds “in nature, on travels, beach combing finds, museums and though visiting other pottery studios. For me ceramics is such a wonderful medium, and paying consideration to the glazing is as important as the form of the thrown piece itself.”

Lucy credits Mark Hearld and Angie Lewin  as having prompted her to try lino cutting. “The process takes something away from the exactness of drawing and therefore I feel I create something which is a more abstract version of what I start with, and I love that,” she says. “The end result for me is an image that becomes alive with the cuts visible. This is where my blackbird name came from. I love watching the birds in my back garden and I have a Rowan tree that blackbirds love to pick on when the berries are ripe. I decided to try and do a lino cut and my blackbird was created.”

Lucy Winch Crafty Blackbird lino print

But her true passion remains ceramics. It’s is my lifeline; my meditation, mindfulness, relaxation. As soon as I get on the wheel my mind switches off to all my worries and it’s wonderful.”

Find Lucy at www.thecraftyblackbird.co.uk and on Facebook.

Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Give me a shout at judy(at)socketcreative.com.