Note: This post was written when I produced pots under the Woodseats Pottery name.
My name is Tom Humphries, I’m the founder of Woodseats Pottery where I make all kinds of stoneware pots.
I’ve always been interested in clay, my first encounter was at Junior school where we all made clay ornaments one day. Even then I was fascinated by the texture, and how a muddy substance would firm up into a hard object.
Around thirty years later my wife was taking evening classes in pottery and I decided to buy her a pottery wheel for her birthday. After she showed me the basics of throwing I became interested in doing more myself. I managed to get hold of a second hand electric kiln which means the whole process of creating stoneware can be done in the little studio at the end of our garden.
Over the last few years I have done a lot of research into glaze formulations. I don’t like to just make up recipes found on the internet without understanding the chemistry behind them. This has meant many hours using spreadsheets, using prediction software and many real life glaze tests. I have now developed a range of food safe glaze recipes that fit my clay well and don’t chip easily.
Last year I set up an Etsy Shop to try and sell my pottery. I have made a couple of sales so far which I am pleased about considering the amount of competition on there, and my lack of promotion thus far.
In creating this website I hope to share some of my experiences in pottery with the world, and use it to track my progress. I keep overcoming little hurdles which I imagine many new potters face, maybe I can help someone out.
Introduction to Woodseats and History of Ceramics
Woodseats is an area of South Sheffield, in the South Yorkshire County of England. The logo of Woodseats pottery incorporates the Yorkshire rose. We are within a short drive of the Peak District National Park which has some beautiful countryside, and also Bakewell, the home of the famous Bakewell tart!
Sheffield is probably most famous for its steel works, but I discovered it was also once home to many brickworks as well.
During some building work on our house – which is around 100 years old, I found some bricks that were stamped ‘WS Ironi‘. After a little googling I found they were actually made just a little way down the road from us at Woodside Brick Co Ltd. The site is now a retail park that I had used, and not realised my house had been created there.
Old Aerial view of Woodside Brick Co Ltd. Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, Sheffield