Ashley Howard

Ashley Howard

Medium: Potter

Discover what motivates Ashley to make work.

What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work? 

I am currently working on a body of work for an exhibition at a private residence in London. My ideas come from combinations of historical ceramic sources and my interest in the mundane and everyday with a focus on placement, arrangement and the juxtaposition of things.

What medium do you use in your practice and why? 

I work in ceramics, in particular with porcelain and coloured enamels. I use the potter’s wheel to make my forms. The potential of my discipline is endless.

What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start? 

The vocabulary of wheel-formed ceramics is dynamic, rhythmic, subtle and all-encompassing – after a lifetime’s work I still feel I have only scratched the surface. I was fortunate to have some very inspiring teachers who taught me a lot about the language of clay and the ‘architecture’ of a vessel.

What is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why? 

At the moment I would say it is a piece of work titled Above the Clouds. It featured in my 2018 exhibition Meditations at Guildford cathedral.

What is your proudest achievement? 

Any time one of my students thanks me for something I have been able to do for them always make me feel privileged.

What is the most indispensable item or tool in your studio? 

My hands…

Where is your favourite place to see art / craft? 

The V&A.

Why Farnham as a place to practise your art / craft? What is it about being part of the town that is special? 

Farnham has a heritage in the field, but what I find appealing is that heritage has not held it back. Farnham does not feel the need to trade on its past. The presence of the craft course at the university ensures Farnham’s trajectory continues forward and holds respected currency within the discipline.

Can you share a craft ‘secret’ or your favourite hidden craft thing / space / memory? 

One of my favourite sayings is ‘Don’t worry, nothing is under control’. That’s good one for those of us who work with clay.

Being part of a community of makers is… 

a stimulating, engaging and creative experience, but above all, it’s a privilege.