Teresa Munby

Paper Clay hand built pots and sculptural pieces


These hand built pots and vases are made from porcelain paper clay decorated in a variety of ways. Paper clay is made up of paper pulp (which burns off in firing) and a clay body –in this case porcelain.

I have almost exclusively used porcelain paper clay because once fired it can appear quite delicate (even paper-like) and yet be used to create solid, waterproof, functional pots, vases and bowls.

Initially, I decorated some pots with under glazes simply painted on with a brush before biscuit firing. Then I began to explore different ways of colouring the clay body using coloured clay shapes. This involved a variety of techniques including using under glazes to colour the white paper clay, powdered pigments and coloured slips dried out on plaster to reform back into a clay body which can then be rolled out and cut into shapes –the most successful method I found. I also experimented further weaving in coloured strips and then rolling to create different effects.

More recently I’ve been developing methods of marbling coloured clay creating complex and unpredictable patterns. The shapes of the pots have usually been wrap-around but I have also been experimenting with other shapes using a variety of formers and sculptural pieces where the shape and patterns of the coloured clay dictates this.

I have also been experimenting with rolling shapes into the clay body to create imprinted patterns which I have then left uncoloured and simply glazed using a transparent glaze. Some of these are thin enough in places for the light to shine through creating an interesting effect. I have also begun to experiment with casting slips poured into pre-made moulds creating pots which are then decorated.

Most recently I have been experimenting with creating additional texture and patterns in the clay body by impressing various materials into it and then creating sculptural forms from these.


None of this would have happened without my attendance at Sunningwell School of Art pottery evening classes where I have been going for the last few years. Alison Jones* ,the ceramics tutor there, has been a wonderfully encouraging and enabling teacher whose enthusiasm has allowed me to develop unimpeded!

*Go visit her during Oxfordshire ArtWeeks. See the Art Weeks Festival Guide at www.artweeks.org