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Lorraine Clifton Ceramics

Lorraine is a potter and ceramicist who has learned to work with clay partly through adult education classes and self-teaching.

She uses stoneware clay and creates both functional and non-functional pieces using a process, which is called hand building. Lorraine makes versatile ceramics and pottery for everyday use alongside forms with a more sculptural emphasis and tends to use either neutral tones or bright colours in the glazes to finish.

Lorraine takes part in the annual Surrey Artists’ Open Studios and you can see her work by appointment at her Studio in Forest Green.

My Story

For as long as she can remember, Lorraine was always drawn to creativity in one form or another although regrets going straight into the workplace from school, rather than pursuing further studies in the Arts. As a mature student, she became a psychotherapist following completion of a post graduate degree and worked in the NHS for more than 20 years, more recently teaching Mindfulness to healthcare professionals. Her involvement in art, in one way or another, was always close by and during her 20s and 30s, she always managed to find a way to paint usually with water colours, taking lessons and participating in local art groups. Her interest evolved to enrolling in a residential school in Devon to learn about sculpture in clay. After the sculpting experience, Lorraine took classes in hand building with clay and when these finished for a Summer break, she felt quite bereft and her passion for hand building had begun!

Lorraine continued with one-to-one classes and then took a huge leap of faith, leaving her career as a psychotherapist in the NHS to open a small pottery studio, which is close to her home and cocooned by woodland and adjacent to open fields. She feels it breathes creativity! It’s peaceful and calm and an ideal environment in which to give life to the ideas that are influenced by her personality and life experience, travels and the local countryside.

Love of the Surrey Hills

I love living in the Surrey Hills – I’m just over the other side of the road! So really feel that I’m in it – it’s so beautiful and I feel so fortunate to be here. We have an ancient woodland as part of where we are and are committed to retaining it – just as it is so that wildlife can thrive. The deer and other creatures can always be found, especially early in the mornings – such a treat! We’ve recently become all electric – removing our smelly old oil boiler, knowing this can only be better for the environment.

In the studio, I use an electric kiln, a clay/glaze trap under the sink (which is cleared and recycled in an environmentally-friendly fashion). All wet clay waste can be reused so there is very little waste. To reduce any toxic effects to the environment – I vacuum and wash floors and surroundings daily.

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