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I am Mary Newstead aka Sol y Luna London.  I am a home studio potter and maker with a horticultural background.

 

My career path has been an interesting mix of work in the worlds of book publishing, contemporary art and the music business.  In 1999 I took a different direction and began to study garden design at The English Gardening School based at The Chelsea Physic Garden where I gained two diplomas.  In 2003 I won a Silver Medal for a small garden I staged at The Chelsea Flower Show.  Until quite recently I was working as a garden designer.

 

In 2015 I enrolled at The Putney School of Art & Design to learn the craft of making pottery.  In 2019, realising I was doing what I really loved, I took the plunge and invested in my first electric kiln and a garden studio.


I like to collect old and interesting artefacts and curios, and I look out especially for anything that I can use to enhance my pottery like old stones, shells & ancient ammonites (some of which are millions of years old), which I impress into the damp clay to add texture to my work.

By re-purposing old finds in this way the marks they leave add a sense of history to my work while also giving the relics a new lease of life in the decoration. 

 

I don't agonise over perfection - a wobbly line or an inconsistency is, after all, the appeal of hand-made ceramics.  When I decorate my work I let the contours of the vitrified clay dictate the direction of my hand when making my marks - clay is the master and I am the servant.

 

My designs are functional, decorative and colourful and, above all, my work is experimental.  I take inspiration from ancient techniques like folk art, tile making and even architecture.  The textures and patterns I use are often drawn from vintage fabrics, plants and Mother Nature.  

My online shop is a collection of my own hand-built ceramics and other old artefacts and hand made vintage finds.

Sol y Luna is the abstract name I chose for my collection because I like its soft rhythm when spoken and because the sun and moon are themselves antiquities.  They are as old as the hills and yet they are still a constant in our modern world, which appeals to my love of objects and of their history.   

 Also .... we can't live without them!

Mary Newstead AKA Sol y Luna, London 2021

Email contact: solylunalondon@yahoo.com 

Instagram: @solylunalondon




 

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