Russell makes Devonshire Slipware, he likes the humble origins of the everyday medieval pot to its vibrant place in todays studio pottery. His pots are made for the kitchen and table, he wants them to be used and enjoyed in everyday life.
Russell's work is wheel thrown and slab built. Pots are to be used, so forms are simple and robust. Rims are rolled for strength and to mirror the chunky ring at the bottom; which is used for slipping and glazing. Handles are pulled from the pot as if they have grown there. Slip is dipped, poured, brushed, trailed and splashed with animated movements. Colour is achieved using oxides in slips. Pots are then oncefired in an electric kiln from 1100c – 1140c.
Although his work is deeply rooted in the North Devon Slipware traditions, it has a freshness that sits well in any modern gallery or home. He marries old techniques with newer ones, using wet on wet slips so they bleed into one another and slip trailers but with force to achieve splashes with feathered edges. Russell adds slab “beaks” to his jugs to then shape them in the way a normal spout is shaped. Using slabs allows him to mix in different textures that the slip picks up. He throws, then alters shapes, to achieve things that can not be done on a wheel alone. The colours he has developed are fresher and more contemporary than traditional slipware and more in line with today's market.