Barry Stedman – Potter of the Week

Barry Stedman produces beautiful painterly vessels using earthenware clay and coloured slips. The decoration on all of Barry’s work has been generated using his sketches of the English countryside surrounding his home in Bedfordshire.

Barry’s work is always evolving; when he first joined Online Ceramics his pots were a lot freer, the slips he applied were bold primary colours and the manner of application was loose and unlike anything else being produced by his contemporaries. He even applied glaze in the same manner, not worrying about leaving areas unglazed.

Such was the buzz he generated in the ceramic world Barry soon inspired a host of imitators. The challenge Barry had was to evolve his work whilst maintaining its spontaneity at the same time deepening its sophistication. Over the years he has gradually made changes. The most recent change was Barry’s move from red to white earthenware. The vessels he now throws are carved – particularly around the base – making them noticeably lighter.

Barry now uses up to three glazes on his pots that to the causal observer differ insignificantly, but marks a step change in the sophistication of his work. The first glaze is an opaque white used on the inside of his pots and a combination of a clear glaze and a matt semi opaque glaze that Barry uses to cover the outer decorated areas.

Peter Ward, owner of Online Ceramics said, ‘Barry Stedman has a tricky balancing act to maintain the freshness and spontaneity of his early work whilst he matures as a potter – jumping from a brash youth, fresh on the scene to achieving the maturity of an elder statesman – all in 10 years!’

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