Posted on August 01 2016
The creation of artist Robert Goldsmith, Selborne Pottery focuses on producing high-quality, handmade, ceramics. No machines or moulds are used in the process, rather there is a focus on traditional skills and techniques. These methods ensure a quality and feel that is rarely felt in contemporary ceramics and make each piece, not only a fully functional item, but also a unique piece of artwork. We asked Robert a couple of questions about himself and his practice at Selborne Pottery. He was kind enough to give us an insight into his creative world and what keeps him ticking along.
Can you start by telling me a bit more about yourself and how Selborne Pottery began? The seedlings for the formation of Selborne Pottery emerged many years ago. As a child I had access to the raw material because my mother Eve Goldsmith, an artist, used to sculpt using a coarse stoneware clay. Most children enjoy the immediacy of creating with clay, as little fingers prodding and wooden tools sculpting are as close to a pig in muck as one can get. Add to that water and the encouragement of adults around me, and it was a winning combination. The clay theme continued into school, where my pottery teacher, Naomi Hoyland, noticed my interest and encouraged my endeavours. She was a very fine potter and calligrapher in her own right and I think was pleased to have such a young pupil who seemed to have a particular affinity with clay and whose preference was to learn to throw on the wheel rather than play football like most of my other friends.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? As a child growing up, I wanted to be an explorer and a mountaineer.
Where are you based? Selborne Pottery is in the historic village of Selborne, located next to the church and opposite the naturalist historian Gilbert White's house. The village is quintessentially English and comprises of meadows, streams and woodland and the pottery itself is in a pretty, sunny courtyard which we have planted with wisteria, grape vine and full of flowers in the summer. If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it? I've got an acre of land and I would love to build an eco house using only natural, local materials, encorporating 21st century high tech spec.
Do you have a favourite artwork or sculpture? My favourite artist is Atkinson Grimshaw. Favourite sculpture would be the work of Eric Gill and Rodin.
What are you currently working on and do you have any advice for aspiring artists? Currently, I'm working on commissioned lamps based on Picasso pots with Picassoess faces based on the human form. Also just finishing a large commissioned dinner service. Advice I would give hard working artists is the life of a craftsman comprises of 90% hard work and 10% creativity. Set yourself a goal and don't give up. Here at SEED we are lucky enough to stock a whole range of Selborne Pottery pieces, which you can find by following that link or by visiting us in the shop. If you want to learn more about Selborne Pottery or enquire about commission pieces, please get in contact and we will be happy to get back to you.