Ian Stainton

Artist Statement

My first experience with clay occurred while I was studying painting at Carlisle College of Art and Design in Cumbria, England in 1974. Ceramics was a compulsory course and I was a somewhat reluctant student; I immediately disliked introductory hand building. After a few months, I was introduced to the potter’s wheel, and although I was a painter first, the wheel work captured my interest. I thus began a serious study of ceramics and graduated in ceramics in 1978. I worked as a production potter and designer in England, Scotland, and Wales, before coming to the U.S. In 1992. Since then, I have maintained a studio practice in central Pennsylvania.

My experience as a production potter has made me a more skilled potter, but it has also given me time and space to learn and try new things. Nothing provides the time and experience to reflect on the particular functionality or aesthetic of a form like shaping it over and over again. I draw on that experience to make functional work as well as to push those shapes into striking and decorative forms, for which I also strive to find unique and innovative surface treatments.

I work mainly in porcelain, throwing on the wheel. My work has appeared in publications and been exhibited at a number of shows, including Strictly Functional Pottery National.