Jo Myerscough

With a degree in Theatre Studies, I started working backstage in the wardrobe departments of Opera North, the Royal Ballet at Covent Graden and Sadler’s Wells. I then had a change of direction, volunteering in a pre-school scheme in a village in North India and later travelled round other parts of South East Asia.

On returning, I trained as a teacher. I took up pottery in evening classes and caught the bug. I love throwing and have spent years happily making functional wear. However, in the past year I have given up glazes and concentrated on smoked pottery. I still throw, but alter the thrown shape, cover it with a layer of slip and burnish it. After biscuit firing, the pots are put in a bonfire with a variety of combustible materials and the flames and smoke create patterns. Nothing is the same. Each piece is unique. I can control what happens to a certain extent, but I like the unpredictability of this process The effects can range from charcoal black to soft greys and smoky browns. Sometimes the surface reminds me of a starry night sky or early daguerrotypes. The pieces are waxed and polished to give a high sheen.