16 Mar My Love For Pottery With Rachel Fooks
The other day I went to watch a movie called Phantom Thread at the Lighthouse in Poole. Walking into the theatre, I couldn’t help but admire the ceramic displays that were on sale. Next to the displays were Rachel Fooks’ business cards which I quickly helped myself to one. The next thing I found myself in Wareham getting to know all about Rachel and her amazing work.
Rachel’s pottery studio is found near Wareham – 52 Furzebrook Road, better known as ‘Furzebrook Studios’ www.rachelfooksceramics.com. Rachel stated she moved into Furzebrook Studios in June as her business was growing. As well as her pottery studio she also has a lovely shop with various items on display.
We begun with talking about Rachel’s pottery classes. Rachel provides weekly pottery classes 3 times a week, with sizes of up to 16 people – do check her website for more details www.rachelfooksceramics.com/pottery-classes. These amazing classes are full of individuals of different ages, backgrounds and abilities. People travel from across Dorset to attend her classes and a couple even travel from as far as East Sussex!
I asked exactly what Rachel taught – she talked about hand-building techniques – slab building, coiling, pinch pots and sculpting. Once people have mastered the techniques, Rachel gives participants the opportunity to start designing their own pottery, guiding them through the design process. With over 40 glazes to choose from, oxides, stains and slips, people can have fun with glazing their pottery too!
What fascinated me most was that Rachel also offers one-off sessions for hen parties, birthday parties, for local people and holidaymakers who want to have a go at pottery but can’t commit to weekly classes. She also offers a ‘Throwing Experience’ so people can have a go making on the potters’ wheel.
Rachel doesn’t just teach pottery, her work can be found in galleries and exhibitions and undertakes many commissions. After chatting about Rachel’s work it led me ask Rachel to do some pottery work while I took a photo:
She was all “work, work, work, work, work…”
I wish I could have given a little bit of hand but I couldn’t. My nails were not so encouraging.
It was nice to get to know that what makes Rachel’s work different from other ceramicists is the fact that she uses a type of clay that no one else uses to make her sea inspired sculptures. To make them more unique, she also stated that her ideas come from her own imaginations inspired by the forms, textures and patterns found under the sea, on rocks, and on plants and pods.
For me, this was a trip worthy as I managed to grab a few photos in Rachel’s own shop, showcasing her awesome work.
Rachel recommended some beautiful parts near to Wareham that I should visit next time. These included Corfe Castle, which I made a detour on my way back home. When I got to Corfe Castle, I thought I needed all day to tour around Corfe Castle in order for me to fully appreciate its beauty. One thing I had to do was to have a cup of tea at Love Cake, again; Rachel’s recommendation!
Other places that are now on my list to visit are Studland (south beach), Tyneham Village (that was abandoned during the war and still remains as it was). Also on the list is Kimmeridge (when the tide is out you can ammonites in the rocks. and in the rock pools you can also see urchins and barnacles). Rachel also recommended visiting Wilkswood (an ancient woodland with massive oak trees) and also Chapmans pool (a beautiful bay). These are just a few of the places that are the inspiration for Rachel’s work.
My love for pottery made me learn more than just the art pottery.