My name is Eileen Wilson and I have been modelling in terracotta clay since about 2002. I started my business in 2012 and making pottery with white earthenware clay in 2015.
I had been making Sculpture as a hobby, one day per week. I was taught by an excellent sculptor and fantastic teacher, Peter Graham. Having been a teacher (of mathematics) myself, for 27 years, I had decided it was time for a career change.
I decided to change my hobby into a business. Eileen's shed became "Swallow Sculpture Shed". I had only made 5 or 6 pieces of sculpture up to that point, but loved the whole process. These are five of those pieces. All originally modelled using Terracotta and then some kilned, but others cast in Plaster of Paris or Fibreglass Resin from a Plaster of Paris mould.
"Lady with a Baby"
Since several families of swallows return each summer "Swallow Sculpture Shed" seemed the obvious name.
My shed is in my garden and is a lovely environment in which to work.
Working in my shed.
It is great to simply walk across the garden to get to work on a morning - whatever the weather!
The shed in the snow.
The shed had electricity, water, a sink, a table, some cupboards and shelves. However, to avoid having to cast everything I made, I needed to be able to fire my pieces once they were finished. I originally had my pieces kilned by "Newfangled Glass" in the "Maker's Village" in Alloa, but eventually I had saved enough money to buy an old kiln which I had reconditioned at "Kiln Services Scotland" in Hamilton. This gave me much more flexibility and there was great excitement the first time it fired up to over 1000degC.
Old Kiln in need of renovation.
Newly reconditioned Kiln in 2013.
I also had an old potter's wheel which needed renovation too. Unfortunately, it was so large that it wouldn't fit inside the shed, and had to be kept wrapped up to protect it from the elements. This also meant that I could only throw outside.
Old Potter's wheel, all wrapped up.
Drying out for the kiln.
I made so much mess throwing my first pot that it was probably just as well that I was outside. I had an amazing amount of fun though and kept watching and re-watching "YouTube" videos because I was determined to learn how to throw.
Throwing my first wee pot.
I tried using white earthenware clay which was easier and started to turn out a wee collection of wobbly pots. By 2014 I had saved up enough money to buy a smaller wheel which would actually fit inside the shed.
My first thrown pot in all its messy glory.
My first set of kilned pots.
More recent potting (throwing) ~ some photos that a local photographer friend took for me.