Liz Collinson Ceramics Newsletter

Beautiful forms and Gorgeous glazes


‘Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this ? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint’. Pablo Picasso
A good book that I can recommend, if you want to learn more about putting colours together is ‘The interaction of colour’ by Josef Albers.
A color has many faces, and one color can be made to appear as two different colors. Here it is almost unbelievable that the left small and the right small squares are part of the same paper strip and therefore are the same color. And no normal human eye is able to see both squares — alike.

Featured items showing Colour

Vessel with inner and also the outside being Light Turquoise - but it looks cream.
Round bottom mug no handle
Mug with a middle band of Light Turquoise - but it looks grey.
Globe shaped jug
Platter with Light Turquoise in the middle - but it looks white.


So sometimes I make a vessel and then once it is first fired I think about how I’m going to decorate it. Other times I will come up with a way of decorating that I would like to try out and so would then have to think about the form which would go well with the decorating technique.

My personal view is that a complicated form would be best decorated simply otherwise the decoration would detract from the form. However there are a few exceptions to this, where the decoration enhances the already complicated form. Likewise a simple form can be decorated in a very elaborate way but then again if it is that simple it’s beauty is possibly it’s simplicity and so the decoration needs to stay simple.

When I throw a lovely curvy form, I like to keep the decoration simple as it’s the form which I am celebrating, not the decoration. I want to hold the form and really enjoy the shape and not get distracted with patterns or colours.

In Ceramics, the unfired glazes can have totally different colours to their fired final colours and so it is difficult to mix colours successfully. One has to instinctively add the correct amounts of different glazes and/or stains to get the desired colour I learnt about colour at the Slade School in London. With guidance, by experimenting, with the three basic colours of yellow, red and blue paint, I was able, after considerable time , to develop and understand colour combinations. One can’t just throw colours together and label it as self expression as one has to develop the skills first and only then can you create.

I do not make my own glazes up as there are many glazes already made and fully tested to be food safe. These glazes are more expensive to buy but if I were to make my own glazes up, I would have to send each batch off to be tested to make sure that they are safe for tableware. I am not sure on how many potters actually have their glazes tested. I have exhibited in many Galleries through out the UK but I've only been asked by two galleries about the safety of my glazes.

I buy a selection of brush on glazes which can be mixed with each other to attain my own palette.
In my lessons whether its physics or ceramics, I believe in experimental teaching. I would like my students to discover things for themselves. I throw the rules out of the window. When one plays, one creates and its very personal as one uses one’s own judgement in play. I can offer guidance, but it is for the students to play and discover. This keeps the lessons new and different and each student’s work will be different.

Colour Matrix Explained

Watch this You Tube video.
Either click the green button or click here.

Arteria Lancaster re-opens end of July

with Exhibition - Land Sea Air

23 Brock Street, Lancaster, LA1 1UR |

Including over 30 of my recent items,

with Bowls, Plates, Mugs and Miniatures, etc.

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