A little bit about Dottery Pottery

Hi, I’m Sarah Duke and I run Dottery Pottery from my little studio in Hampshire.

When I was child, my dreams jobs were Artist, Pianist or Poet! Despite constantly badgering my parents to buy me a piano ( I did get a teeny Casio keyboard for Christmas 1983 and mastered the Flying Picket’s “Only You” which I proudly played along with during Christmas Top of the Pops), it never happened. My poetry was really a bit naff, so Artist was the career path I pursued….

I ended up getting a place on a Brunel University Degree course based in Buckinghamshire College of Further Education. It was a Multi discipline course covering Furniture making, Jewellery making, Ceramics and glass and Interior Design. I misread the timetable for the first day and spent a leisurely morning looking around the shops when I should have been having a tour of the different options available. When I finally turned up (3 hours late), everyone had chosen their courses and I felt really embarassed and quickly opted for Ceramics and glass as the first discipline. Once I’d had a taster of it though, I never bothered with the other options and enjoyed an amazing 3 years playing with mud and fire!

When I graduated, I rented a space with a potter friend in Southampton and used her kiln to fire my work. I then hired an outbuilding and got my first kiln and eventually rented my own shop in a little shopping village. I called myself I Spy Ceramics as my little shop was so hidden away! I stocked all sorts of arts and crafts as the space was too big to fill with my own ceramics.

Family came along and I took a little break but came back in 2008 with Dottery Pottery. 

I am inspired by all things nature, I love retro design and really enjoy surface decoration. I try very hard to come up with unique and original ideas that encompass a little bit of fun and quirkiness.

I love bright, bold colours and designs that make you smile. I am never happier than when I am translating a design from my funny little brain into a finished ceramic piece.  I love how a piece of squidgy mud can transform into a permanent, solid, finished product.

The best part of the process for me is when I open the kiln after a glaze firing – it’s exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure. You can open the kiln to find that everything has over-fired, warped, cracked and bubbled and a good few weeks of work can be totally ruined…..or you can open the kiln and find everything looking shiny and perfect. It’s also really exciting when you’ve mixed up a new glaze recipe and tried it out for the first time, you never quite know what you are going to get!

I couldn’t imagine my life without clay on my hands (especially when I run up to the house to answer the door to the postperson!) and I am so grateful to all of my lovely customers that make it possible for me to make mud pies every day!

Visit shop:

5 out of 5

6 thoughts on “A little bit about Dottery Pottery

  1. Fabulous! I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  2. Fascinating to hear the story behind your creations, and to see you at work!
    Wishing you the best of luck,
    Clare

  3. I seem to have know you forever Sarah haha, so it is lovely to read the background behind your gorgeous shop! Di x

  4. Sarah. How lovely to read your blog. It’s so interesting, and like Di above I seem to have known you forever too (You are not my daughter by any chance?) No – her name is Sarah Dukes!!!! SallyAnn xxx

  5. Really interesting to hear your back story. Good luck with the new shop.

  6. A great read, lovey to see the person behind the shop. I love your style, and especially the colour in your work. Gorgeous!

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