Hello – I’m Clair. Welcome to Lough Gur Pottery
I have lived beside Lough Gur, which is located in the Ballyhoura region in the Midwest of Ireland, for over 20 years. Lough Gur is a unique place in the Irish cultural and historical landscape–no other place in Ireland has so comprehensively borne witness to human habitation across every era of history.
It has been inhabited for over 6,000 years, and the lake and surrounds of Lough Gur have revealed many archaeological treasures, including numerous pieces of pottery.
It is a privilege to live in a place with this history, and which has provided so much evidence of the importance that ancient people’s placed on the material objects they surrounded themselves with.
They elevated their pottery pieces by decorating them with simple patterns. I have always been intrigued by the time-honoured ceremonies that these beautiful artefacts were a part of.
It reminds me that there are ceremonial qualities to be found in many everyday tasks, like making a cup of tea or enjoying a meal with good friends or family.
When I create my own pottery pieces, I aim to introduce a little bit of this ceremony into our own everyday lives.
My carving techniques are inspired by the carved surfaces of the artefacts uncovered at Lough Gur. Each piece I make is handmade with love, perfectly imperfect, with evidence of my hands impressed on the clay and etched on the surface.
One of my favourite aspects of the process is the surface decoration. I imagine peoples of the past took their time in decorating their favourite objects and I too love to spend the time hand painting and carving the surface designs so that each piece is truly unique.
Embellish Your Everyday
My hope is that using one of these pieces will bring a little moment of calm and peace to your day–that these pieces will find a role in your own everyday ceremonies, from that warm mug of rich coffee first thing in the morning to that lovingly arranged vase of freshly cut flowers.
I hope they will encourage you to relish and embellish your everyday.
I wasn’t always a potter. I spent many years training to be a solicitor before joining the family law firm, where I worked for 9 years. I frequently toyed with the idea of changing careers but was scared to venture into the unknown.
However, in 2017, with the support of my family, I tentatively began to take baby steps towards a new path. I’ve always had a love of all things creative but clay, in particular, really captured my imagination.
My journey to becoming a potter began at my kitchen table where I started to experiment with different clays and techniques. I attended many pottery classes and weekend workshops, studied books and subscribed to online learning forums before finally investing in my own kiln. I was totally hooked and even the numerous failed experiments and disappointing glaze results in the early days could not dissuade me from this dream.
Finally, at the end of 2017, I decided to take the plunge and make my pastime a full-time endeavour and I set up Lough Gur Pottery.