Terri Holman | 'the making of pots as the centre of things...'

Terri Holman 
'Clay is such a wonderful material to work with.

I have always been a maker even as a child and the only subject I was really good at during my school years was art, so it was very natural for me to do my A-levels in this area. After taking a foundation course, which introduced me to lots of different materials and disciplines such as textiles, metals etc, I decided to specialise in ceramics and studied for a degree at Cardiff in 1980.

Clay is such a wonderful material to work with. The possibilities of manipulating forms and the different ways of mark-making are infinite. You also have the magic of the firing process. Transforming clay from something soft and fragile into something durable and permanent. I am still learning and experimenting, and feel as though I have only just scratched the surface.

Terri Holman | Medium Flat Jug
My inspiration for the patterns was taken from textiles, oriental carpets and mosaics etc.

At college, my main influences were Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. I also remember a college trip to see an Elizabeth Fritch exhibition. I was absolutely blown away!

When I graduated my pots were mainly thrown porcelain; little lidded boxes and narrow stemmed bowls. They were all decorated with enamels. I focused on symmetrical patterns radiating out from the centre of the piece. My inspiration for the patterns was taken from textiles, oriental carpets and mosaics. I was also making larger stoneware bowls and platters, looking more closely at patterns in the landscape and contrasting this patterning with fluid areas of glaze.
Terri Holman | Vase

I then went back to my college sketchbooks and made the classical shapes I was looking at as a student,

In 1994 I focused less on throwing, spending more time hand building with flat pieces of clay. As a result, I became more interested in the flat elliptical form. I worked with a matt surface, creating shading with oxides. I was told that they looked like drawings of pots. Going back to my college sketchbooks I made the classical shapes I was looking at as a student, now using the drawn line to visually alter the form. These pieces explored the play between two and three dimensions.

Whatever the stage of my life, I have always got the making of pots as the centre of things.

For the past 20 years or so I have continued to explore this way of making. I am now introducing and contrasting areas of pattern with the textures of the clay.

Terri Holman | Large Jug

Whatever the stage of my life, I have always got the making of pots as the centre of things.


Having moved to live on the edge of Dartmoor, I find myself influenced by my surroundings and am using a more natural coloured palate. An even more direct connection with my environment is my experimenting with local clays. Using them as slips and glazes. I also try to incorporate bracken and bramble in my ash glazes.

I tend to work every day and keep weekends free.

Whatever the stage of my life, I have always got the making of pots as the centre of things.'

Terri Holman 2018

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