Smoke Fired Pottery
from the heart of County Durham, 2018

Since 2005, Laura has enjoyed developing and refining her ceramic style and ancient smoke-firing technique at her own pottery studio in the picturesque village of Westerton, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Laura's interest and involvement in making 'studio pottery' has grown since being trained as a potter by her father, Alan Ball, who occupied the pottery at the Washington Arts Centre from 1975-1995. Not only does she specialise in creating these fabulous pieces, she leads active workshops teaching other her craft.

Recent Work

Leaf Dish Jewellry Holder

Handmade with love. This ceramic leaf dish is perfect for holding a tealight or keeping jewellry overnight.

Handmade ceramic pendant on leather thong with beads

These pendants perfect gifts for men and women.

Handmade Ceramic Vase

Handmade with love. This small ceramic decorative vase is perfect as a special gift or addition to a ceramic collection.

Handmade Ceramic Tealight

These unique tealights are made from handcut from slabs of red or grey earthernware clay. They are given an individual design using texture and markings. then hand finished.

The Process of Smoke Fired Pottery

SMOKED POTTERY is an ancient method of firing that creates an enchanting and timeless quality.

The process in brief:

Smoke Fired Process
  • The pots are built using a variety of techniques assembling slabs, coils and thrown elements.
  • The clay is carefully prepared, and once 'leather hard', is decorated using a refined 'slip'
  • Burnished to a smooth finish, the pieces are fired at a low temperature in an electric kiln
  • The pots are then decorated with a temporary 'resist', that is removed later in the process
  • The pottery is then fired for a second time in a bonfire where the smoke from the fire penetrates the unprotected areas of the pot, giving a timeless and tactile quality
  • This smoking procedure is only semi controlled and is therefore unpredictable, and so it often takes more than one session in the bonfire before the desired effect is achieved
  • The resist is then scrubbed off to leave the original colour of the clay exposed to reveal the design
  • The pots are then waxed, polished and enjoyed!

Upcoming Events

Visit us at The National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Saturday 7th April, 10am-5pm

Spend a day with a Potter

Have you always wanted to throw a pot on a potters wheel? Now you can enjoy a new and exciting experience!

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Get In Touch

Contact me for information my pottery, workshops and open days.