Hello, my name is Deborah Clarke. I founded Creative Clay for All in 2015. It was a time when there was a reduction of kilns in community centres and schools, at the same time research was showing crafts like clay were good for peoples wellbeing. More people were becoming interesting in learning ceramics but did not have the facilities, some were unable to travel to workshops. I feel everyone should have access to clay. I have developed workshops to make them as inclusive and accessible as possible. I regularly facilitate workshops for both physical and learning disability groups. I have attended training courses with Arts4Dementia and Dementia Friends which has helped make workshops fun and relaxing for those with dementia. Workshops have been adapted to follow covid safety procedures while remaining calm, joyful and inspiring.
I have always had a passion for ceramics and have over 20 years experience working with clay. I have been taught by some amazingly skilled Potters while studying my BA (hons): Ceramics at Bath and went on to learn new skills helping at the International Potters Festival, Aberystwyth and exhibited at the New Designers exhibition in London. I enjoy regularly attending demonstrations. I also enjoy taking part in experimental kiln firings when I get a chance. Clay has infinite possibilities and exploring some of those will always be a joy. As well as running workshops I create my own pieces which I exhibit across the South West.
My studio is located in rural Dorset with countryside views. The landscape is constantly changing and I occasionally see deer strolling through the fields. The Jurassic Coast is nearby with a coast ranging from sandy beaches to jagged dark rocks protruding from the cliffs, with glimpses of fossils. This inspires the colours, shapes and patterns used in my creations. I hand build in a variety of clays mainly firing at earthenware temperatures in an electric kiln. Below are images from some of my Jurassic range.
In 2019 I was awarded peoples choice, second place at the Shaftsbury Snowdrop open and DACA Potters Challenge Cup at the Dorset Arts and Craft Association's summer show. In 2021 I received the South West England Prestige award 2020/21 for Unique Workshops of the Year