In the Spotlight - British Potter Libby Ballard

Libby has been a potter since graduating in 2013 but turned her passion into a full-time career in February 2017.

Whilst studying A-levels Libby didn't touch clay during her art foundation as she thought she wanted to become a jeweller. When choosing her degree course she knew she wanted to be a maker of some sort but wasn't 100% sure on the medium.

Libby completed a BA at Brighton studying Wood, Metal, Ceramics & Plastics. It was there that she properly fell in love with clay and she hasn't looked back.

Libby's favourite thing to make is her mugs, she loves getting stuck into the wheel for a whole day and getting into the rhythm of making a certain shape over and over. Practicality and comfort is really important when making tableware. She likes her pieces to be comforting to use, so that they add to the whole dining experience.

Libby's designs are inspired by a combination of walks, photographs and sketches. She spent her childhood on the Isle of Wight and still has a love for the coastline. Libby is constantly drawn to the coastline and finds constant inspiration in the ever changing views. 

This travel mug starts with a blend of different clays. Each piece is then individually thrown on the wheel and left over night to harden. The next day Libby trims the bases and allows the pieces to dry slowly over the next few days. They then go into first firing up to 1010 degrees, this takes 48 hours to heat up and cool down. Each piece is then sanded and glazes are applied. The glazes are mixed from many tried and tested recipes, which Libby is developing all the time. The glaze must then be wiped off the bases and tidied up. They can then go in for second firing up to a higher temperature of 1260 degrees another 48 hour cycle. Once cooled, the kiln can then be unpacked and the travel mugs are off to Salt and Steel.....all ready for their new homes! 

See them on our kitchen page: