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Pippa Hill

Pippa Hill

Pippa has been obsessed with clay from an early age. She grew up in the Dorset countryside surrounded by animals, including cows, sheep, my pony, dogs, cats and chickens. She remembers the shepherd skinning a lamb to put the skin on an orphan; and her mother teaching her how to skin a rabbit. She would collect skulls and dried stoats from the gamekeepers gibbet, these things sparked an interest in anatomy and comparative anatomy, which informs her work.

Pippa was seven, when she started collecting clay in the ploughed fields, surrounding their home, and began sculpting the animals around her. She fell in love with clay, she loved its malleability and the fact that she could use just her hands without the need for tools.

What started as a hobby, developed into a full time business when she started by producing a successful commercial range, which continued for thirteen years. In 2005 she returned to her first love of sculpting animals. She drew on her previous experiences with animals, tacking up her pony, milking cows, skinning rabbits, remembering the feel and shape of them. Initially, she made work inspired by domestic animals and native wildlife.

Her work:

She is entirely self-taught and do not feel that this has hindered her; although, she has had to learn some things the hard way, she has also developed her own processes for making and firing her work. She has continued to develop her style; her more recent work includes exotic animals and some colourful, quirky and humorous pieces.

Pippa’s work is hand built or press moulded, using several different stoneware clays, depending on the size and detail of what she wants to make. Slips, oxides and glazes colour the work and enhance textures.

She likes the colour reduction firing gives the clay and the oxides, so her work is fired in a gas kiln at approx. 1260⁰ C.