I was enrolled on a Teacher Training course as a mature student when I first experienced working with clay and was encouraged to work in a creative way. Of all the media experienced, clay was my favourite medium.

Rosalie Dodds portrait
Rosalie Dodds image

In 1979 an opportunity came up for me to have an extra year's training in art and craft at Brighton Polytechnic and here I learned a range of skills to do with clay, glaze technology and mould making. These skills enabled me to teach art as a specialist subject in the middle school, whilst developing my own work. Holiday courses and demonstration days given by other potters were helpful to my development.

After seeing a raku demonstration, I became interested by the process and I began to experiment, loving the smoked surfaces and the crackled glazes. I eventually started to exhibit work in 1992. At this time in Brighton, the Open House movement was growing and I was able to exhibit in my own house as well as in local galleries. My work and methods were featured in Ceramic Review (no 217, Eileen Lewenstein visited the Open houses and asked me to write an article). After 12 years, no longer having the raku workshop facilities, I concentrated on my stoneware work.

I have always been inspired by forms and textures in the landscape and seashore, especially chalk cliffs and flint seams found locally. These have been starting points for textures on my pots. I use layers of silicon carbide slip contrasting with coloured or neutral slips to organise elements into strata layering and striping. Main glaze is felspathic with tin oxide. Surface results depend on thickness of glaze and heat in kiln to react together, fired to 1240 degrees in an electric kiln; usually predictable results but exciting surprise when happy accidents occur. I make a range of forms, bowls, bottles, and lidded pots using the wheel or hand building/coiling using a variety of grogged clay or St Thomas white clay. I have been a selected member of the CPA since 1998 and have exhibited work there since 2015.