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Dark, amber flashing, emerging rim, 1993, Dark flashed asymmetric, amber bands, tilted rim, 1991, Pale, fractured speckled spiral and traces, 2008, all by Jennifer Lee © The Artist. Photography by Jon Stokes

For some potters, skilled craftsmanship is inherently worthwhile. They believe that the repeated action of throwing or hand-building pots, connects them to a grounding, natural order. This is a view shared by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, who created still-life groupings and Edmund de Waal, whose arrangements of thrown pots arranged in close groupings, represent the value of making.

Other potters prefer to build their pots up inch by inch, focussing their concentration in this way. Ladi Kwali, a Nigerian potter who toured internationally in the 1950s, built her large water jars using a series of coils. Contemporary potters Magdalene Odundo and Jennifer Lee, also build by hand. Odundo uses a tool to burnish (smooth and polish) the surface of her abstract pots. Lee’s clay, with veins of colour caused by the introduction of mineral oxides, is reminiscent of geological processes over time.

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