About Micki > Approach

Approach

My aim is to make pots that grow on those who use them, their qualities revealing themselves over time. Whilst each pot can be enjoyed individually, they are designed and made to be used daily in the kitchen; fired to a high stoneware temperature they are strong and highly durable.

Making wood-fired, salt-glazed pots for daily use is challenging. The firings are unpredictable. The weather, type of wood and energy of the firers all have an impact and contribute to making each piece unique.

I enjoy making a wide range of pots which respond imaginatively to daily needs in the kitchen. I have always used wood as a fuel to fire my kilns. The process is fully engaging. It is something you can never totally control, but experience teaches you to bring together all the elements to create the best possible chance of a good outcome. The flames in a wood kiln are slow and gentle and seem to impart some of these qualities to the pots.

Biography

I was born in London in 1949. I first encountered pots and pot-making while traveling for a year in India in 1968.  In 1970, having decided to become a potter, I found work at Terrybaun Pottery in Ireland, learning to make slip trailed earthenware with Gratten Freyer . From 1970-72 I attended the Studio Pottery Course at Harrow College of Art, in London, run by Mick Casson and Victor Margrie. There I was taught by many practicing potters including Walter Keeler and Mo Jupp and importantly by Gwyn Hansen. I also spent time in France learning about wood fired salt glaze with Gustave Tiffoche and in Spain, where I worked in a traditional pottery, making wood fired earthenware.

In 1975 I set up a studio pottery in Bentham, North Yorkshire, making wood fired salt glaze tableware under the name of Micky Doherty. After the birth of my two sons, Ciuin and Jo, I continued to work under the name of Micki Schloessingk. In 1987 I set up Bridge Pottery, on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. In 1998 I spent time researching kilns and teaching in Australia. I taught a number of workshops in the States during the 90s. I also did a  residency working with Jeff Oestreich. Throughout, I have been committed to making and exhibiting my wood fired salt glazed tableware.

Over the years, many young potters have had periods working with me, learning about wood firing and salt glazing, sharing the studio and kiln. For three years, the young potter Fleen Doran worked with me, initially supported by Adopt a Potter. I continue to explore and experiment, and remain as committed as ever to my life as a potter.