August 31, 2023

Olivia Horley is a ceramicist based in Lewes. Her work is recognisable for a particular style. She creates simple forms that are delicate to the eye but entirely functional and very much encouraged for use by Olivia herself. A preference we have always held at Freight, an item should be made to use, not to put on a shelf merely for decoration. When it comes to pottery that is at least. Her vessels are skilfully hand thrown on a wheel, fired and then glazed using Olivias own glaze recipes. A fine art in itself. Such uncertainty comes from the tiny adjustments and tweaks that can be made to a glaze she confides. It's something we have always found fascinating about the whole process and production but still know little about. We are always wanting to learn more and understand better. 

One of the reasons we were first drawn to Olivia's work is for her use of colour and an ability to create glazes with subtle and intriguing variation. Something we have always found a challenge when working with the more structured potteries in Stoke on Trent. The potential to play and experiment is greatly reduced. So we have to work more with the texture variations for our in house collection. But being able to work with Olivia on the options for glazing subtleties is so enabling. She also understands us when we say things like 'imperceptible variation in tone'. It all makes a difference. Pottery is a teetering balance of form, size, shape, angle, colour and the slight of a professionals hand has a huge impact on the final outcome. 

 Clay being prepared    Biscuit ware pottery waiting to be fired in the kiln    Pottery making    
ArtWave is a free event that takes place in and around Lewes every September; showcasing artists' work in venues throughout the town as well as in numerous open studios. This year we have pieces of work by Olivia Horley on show from 2nd - 17th September. This year we discussed the possibility of a collaboration with Olivia on a new collection. The outcome is something special. Please come and visit the show in Freight to take a look, a hold, a feel of these tactile and unique artworks hand thrown just minutes down the road. 

            Throwing a cup     Aerial view of a pot being thrown on the wheel

            Olivia Horley potter in her studio Olivia in her home studio