Peter Wills was born in Warwickshire in 1955. His initial training was undertaken at college in Chichester, West Sussex with further study at West Glamorgan Institute as a mature student during mid 1980.
At about the same time he began work converting an old wash house into a studio. He built and designed most of the equipment himself, including the 16sqft down draft gas fired kiln. He has been a professional potter since 1989 and is always evolving.
‘I have numerous influences, the major being almost cliché. Of these Bernard Leach’s, ‘A Potter’s Book’ and the whole ethos behind that work was one of the first, although influenced by him I could not be considered to be working within the Leach tradition.’
Sung and Tang Dynasty pots and the major 20th century European potters, such as, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Michael Cardew. However, Peter’s main inspiration has come from Derek Davis and his tutor Sue Nichols.
Attention to detail, form and profile and whether a pot ‘heart’ is all of crucial importance to him. All of his bowls are raw glazed when bone dry and fired to 1280C in his rather unpredictable kiln. He uses a grey/white stoneware come semi-porcelain which he blends himself to his own recipe in a small and ancient dough mixer. The lure of new glazes and glaze combinations he finds irresistible and is therefore constantly experimenting with new glaze ideas, even though he hates the tedium of mixing glaze tests.
“Inspiration for me comes from simple things; pots from ancient China to modern Europe; the looseness; freedom and life of Bizen wares, the wonderful colours, textures and forms of Lucie Rie’s work; the inverted profile of a hat, a blackbird singing outside my bedroom window.”
Peter is now based in Bridge end, South Wales and has exhibited all over the world.
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