With usability at the heart of each design Amy Shennan Pates creates her hand made pottery from her home studio in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
"After I gained my honours degree in three-dimensional design from Grays School of Art in 2014 I established my small creative business under my maiden name, Shennan."
Hi, I'm Amy and I design and make everything here at Shennan's Ceramics. I love;
Taking long walks with my wee boys and my big dog;
Cuddles from my cat;
Relaxing with a strong coffee and a good book;
Spending time with friends and family over good food and;
All things Pottery!
A little about why I do
what I do.
A short video of the potter Amy, here found in her natural environment; the pottery.
Video by Elliot Hornell of Reach Video.
The creation of pottery for the home has never just been about its practical purposes but also the beauty these pieces bring with them into our everyday lives. We can deduce from the engravings found on Neolithic pottery that the creators took imagery and inspiration from their surrounding natural environment to add patterns and beauty onto the pieces.
I take pride in continuing this simple tradition and take inspiration from the beautiful Scottish landscape which surrounds my home and often from mountaineering trips around the Highlands.
A few of my designs include characters of animals which I study and observed in their natural environment.
After graduating I studied further under Jenny Mackenzie Ross of Northshore Pottery and as a graduate in residence back at Grays School of Art. Now I specialise in creating wheel thrown tableware and vases. I enjoy the freedom that comes with throwing; making the walls of the pieces smooth or with thick throwing rings, easily changing shapes and sizes to meet customer needs. My throwing style and ability is always growing and I mix all my own glazes as I experiment with glaze technology so my designs are ever-expanding.
A sense of touch is an important part of my work as each piece is designed to be used and so it must feel comfortable in the hands. This sense of touch derives from a life time of exploring the landscape; running my hands through the barley, feeling the smooth pebbles on the beach, the rough bark of a tree...
And clay itself is inspiring; it's such a versatile material and it can be manipulated into many shapes, textures and colours of my choice. When I open the kiln after the final firing what I find might be something entirely new and unexpected, giving birth to whole new world of ideas.