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Taz Pollard

What do you make?

Ceramics with a bit of mixed media. I’ve been making professionally for four years but really for at least the last 20. I sell my work through galleries, online, at design fairs and sculpture exhibitions.

Tell us how you do it

I use lots of making methods, including slip-casting, coiling and throwing. All my slip cast pieces are finished on the wheel and I hand-make all the moulds. I also do large scale garden sculptures – these are coil-built but I also use the wheel. My work is constantly evolving but the themes remain the same. I’m interested in historical ceramics but love using mixed media, combining textures and objects which you wouldn’t normally associate with ceramics.

 How did you come to be a maker?

I’ve been making pottery from GCSE through to a BA Hons from UWIC (now Cardiff Met) and then more recently a masters from Bath Spa. I had a fantastic pottery teacher at school but my degree at Cardiff really set me up with the tools I needed to be a maker. New Designers was another pivotal moment, particularly winning the One Year On Award in 2014.

How does your studio suit your work?

Two years ago I moved into an industrial unit and set up North Devon Ceramics Academy with another ceramicist. It’s a great space with room for all the equipment we need including a very large kiln which is perfect for my sculptural pieces. We also run classes which have been very successful. We have access to conferencing facilities which have been perfect for our masterclasses.

What inspires you? (Just a line). And why do you just have to do what you do – “couldn’t not do it”?

“Everyday” ordinary objects, sometimes historical, sometimes industrial, often very mundane.

And why I do what I do? It’s just the way my mind works – being creative is just who I am.

And the future?

I want to develop my sculpture. I have been learning how to cast in bronze, pushing my mixed media skills to the next level.

 Any tips?

Take as many opportunities to learn from professional makers as possible. Do an apprenticeship. Don’t give up!