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  • Kirsty Adams. Image courtesy of Kirsty Adams and the National Trust

Meet the Maker: Kirsty Adams

Winner of the 2017 National Trust Open Call

Supported by the Crafts Council

How did you feel when you found out that you were selected to create a product line for the National Trust in 2017?

I was a bit shocked, surprised and then elated to be selected.

Tell us a why Nostell Priory in Yorkshire was your inspiration and how that translated to the range you created

Nostell inspired my range as I have visited ever since a child. It was the first National Trust property I ever visited. It stirred in me my first interest in oriental artifacts and influenced my decision years later to journey to Japan and study traditional Japanese techniques such as the Japanese Oribe glazing and Japanese throwing techniques.

The house has a stunning exterior and has an incredible interior with interesting artefacts in every room. The Chinese wallpapers I discovered in the staterooms at Nostell influence the colours I have chosen for my collection. The wallpapers were brought to the house by the famous cabinetmaker, Thomas Chippendale and feature a delicate, trailing pattern of birds and flowering trees. 

I have developed a peacock green glaze with gold lustre rim for my National Trust collection, which was inspired by the colours of this wallpaper.

Oriental Wallpaper in the State Rooms at Nostell Priory

What do you like about working with clay?

Ever since I was a small child I was drawn to working in clay. I love its immediate plasticity and versatility. I also love the texture and feel of clay whilst working on the potter’s wheel, whether it is porcelain or a grogged stoneware.

Kirsty Adams. Image courtesy of Kirsty Adams and the National Trust

What does your product range for the National Trust consist of?

My range consists of:

A salt pinch bowl

A posy vase

A small bowl

A large flat dish

They are adapted from my existing product lines already developed in porcelain. The pieces made for the National Trust are all in a reduction body stoneware clay, which has a rich and responsive clay body with variation when fired. Each piece is glazed with a peacock green colour I have developed and a gold lustre rim as the third firing. Because of the heat treatment on each piece, the colours are quite varied and no two pieces are quite the same.

Kirsty Adams. Image courtesy of Kirsty Adams and the National Trust

How important do you think it is that the National Trust works with makers?

I think the National Trust is synonymous with British traditions, landscape and beautiful architecture and artefacts. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for them as a national institution, to support makers within the rich and varied craft traditions of the British Isles.

Kirsty Adams. Image courtesy of Kirsty Adams and the National Trust

Kirsty Adams. Image courtesy of Kirsty Adams and the National Trust

Kirsty Adams is a Crafts Council Maker and was selected to create this new range through a Crafts Council and National Trust Open Call in 2017. 

The deadline for the National Trust Open Call 2018 is 3 September.

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