Tracey Mawson Ceramic Artist

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Creating texture in clay workshop

When I first saw that there was a clay workshop with Tracey Mawson ceramic artist, my initial thought was “that’s not for me”. I’d never been very good at making things with clay; numerous school projects went disastrously wrong and most of the time I ended up just doing the painting.

Then I saw a post from Tracey’s Facebook page saying that you could decide what to make, including tea light holders, vases and coasters. Coasters. They’re flat, and not much can really go wrong with them. This seemed like a good prospect for me, so I booked myself on.

The workshop was held in the Crafty Biz Hub at the BBIC centre in Barnsley. Our boards, rolling pins and clay were already laid out for us, along with lots of different types of pattern making tools. There were leaves, pine cones, acorns, shells, fruit packaging, wallpaper and loads more. Tracey got the kettle on and we all had a drink while she explained what we were going to do. The aim was to make something we could keep, and to experiment with patterns and textures.





The Process

We began by rolling out our clay. This was much more difficult than I thought it would be and I got a little bit of help! When it was flat we could make a start on our patterns. It was interesting to see how different people worked. Some laid everything out before they started, some did a few bits at a time, and I picked things up and hoped for the best.

There were different colour options to add to our patterns, along with a box of letters. While we created our textures we spoke to Tracey about her work and the different techniques she uses. She told us that her inspiration comes from nature, and how she experiments with different textures to create her pieces.

When we’d finished creating our textures, it was time to start constructing our pieces. As Tracey was such a good teacher, I decided to try making a small vase. I watched as she demonstrated how it was done, and went as far as I could before asking for a bit of help.

Tracey has an Etsy shop where you can see more of her amazing work.