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Jane Hamlyn

Jane Hamlyn has an international reputation as a leading exponent of contemporary salt glaze ceramics, making functional pots for use and ornament.

Trained at the legendary Harrow Studio Pottery course from 1972 to 1974.  She set up her studio in 1975 and has continued to practice as a full time professional ceramist, specialising exclusively in the salt glaze technique.

Jane’s work is represented in many collections including the Crafts Council of Great Britain and the V & A Museum.

Artist’s Statement:

”I make salt glazed pots for use and ornament, for shared rituals of offering, sharing, serving and celebrating.  I believe that functional pots have a unique role to play in the arena of the applied arts, in that they provoke audience participation: when handling a pot and considering ways to fill it, the user enters into and continues the creative life of the object.  I like that concept.  I use the salt glaze technique because of the unique richness and beauty of its colours and surfaces, a risky and inherently unpredictable process.  Salt glazing presents both a physical challenge and an aesthetic inspiration…but when it goes right, heat, flame and sodium combine to enhance what you have made and sometimes something extra happens, something beyond you.  That for me is fascination.”

Jane Hamlyn has the ability to bring domestic ware into the artistic domain.  As W.A. Ismay commented in a Crafts Magazine review of Hamlyn’s exhibition ‘For Use or Ornament’ at Leeds City Art Gallery, ‘ She has been devoted throughout her career to one particular discipline, that of high fired salt glaze.  It is this kind of persistent dedication (given also the talent, the power of self-criticism and the impulse always to reach out to something beyond) which is apt to produce better pots.’

Jane’s work has a distinctive style, the richness and lustre of the colours and detailed patterning of impressed lines and embossed texture give the work a precious quality reminiscent of ornate silverware.  Her jugs, serving dishes and drinking vessels seem to be designed for celebrating a special occasion.