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Ceramic Review is the magazine for contemporary and historical ceramics, ceramic art and pottery.

Ceramic Review Issue 326

March/April 2024

The potter Gilles Le Corre takes us through the processes and techniques he uses to make a faceted bowl and sgraffito-drawn platter for issue 326 of Ceramic Review

I discovered pottery at Holland Park School in London with a welcoming and great potter and teacher Christine Rowe. I recall at that time walking past the pottery room and seeing a group of pupils surrounding a potter’s wheel and something clicked. It was also during that period I spent a couple of vacations with potter Eric Stockl in South Wales. It was a great experience to be in a studio environment – it opened my mind to the possibilities of studying ceramics. Learning his throwing process and his glaze-on-glaze technique with brushed hot wax decoration has fed into my work ever since.

Masterclass with Gilles Le Corre.

Masterclass with Gilles Le Corre.

I went on to Camberwell School of Arts to do a foundation course followed by a BA in Ceramics under the headship of potter Ian Auld. I was fortunate to have some well-known tutors and visiting lecturers that were very inspiring, such as Janice Tchalenko, Ewan Anderson and Colin Pearson. Also, Scott Chamberlain, a ceramic artist from the USA was a dynamic and inspiring teacher on the course. Tchalenko was one of the tutors who was a great influence, I went on to assist in her studio and she taught me a great deal about throwing on the wheel and experimenting with glazes.

After graduating I became a studio potter and set up a small workshop. Most of my pots were thrown on the wheel and I made a range of colourful domestic ware using a trailed and brushed glaze on glaze technique. I eventually moved to my current studio in Oxford, building a reduction gas fired kiln with the help of a Southern Arts Grant. I supplied and sold pots to a small range of galleries and outlets, taking part in exhibitions and became a member of The Crafts Potters Association and got selected on the Crafts Council Index of Makers.

Masterclass with Gilles Le Corre.

Masterclass with Gilles Le Corre.

My influences are many and I am currently looking at artists from the St. Ives school. I am inspired by the more abstract painters for their playful use of colours and drawn lines, such as Patrick Heron, who found inspiration from the natural world and around the Cornish seashore. I admire his calligraphic lines and spots of colours against a white background, they have an intense luminosity about them. This resonates with me having been brought up near the Brittany coastline. Other influences include Alberto Giacometti for his thin figurative sculptures that have a beautifully worked surface texture, and Jean Dubuffet for his Non-lieux and Mires series of drawings and paintings.

I have taught pottery for several years and am currently a pottery tutor at Activate Learning college in Oxford, where I find inspiration in communicating techniques and ideas with the students. My latest thrown items are large sgraffito-drawn platters, faceted bowls and bottle vessels using a dolomite satin glaze and porcelain slip, two of which I am demonstrating in this Masterclass.


For more details visit gilleslecorreceramic.co.uk; @gilleslecorre.ceramics


Photography and videography by Layton Thompson

Masterclass with Gilles Le Corre.