I visited ceramic artist Trevor Lillistone's studio in Bath Spa, UK, last November. It's in a building made from the butter-coloured stone that you see all over this beautiful city, and you get to Trevor's studio by crossing cobbled courtyards and winding along corridors past other artists' studios.
He's been making ceramics for about twenty years, and only devoted himself to it full time relatively recently. He makes tableware and decorative ware in fired stoneware, with glazes that are classically smooth or deliciously improvised. They are all lovely to look at, but the ones I respond to most are the anagma ware pieces, which have that crackle-glaze texture in colours such as orange and blue.
During our visit, he talked about the people who had influenced him, like Lucy Rie, and the length of time it takes to get things right, and how he now holds classes in his studio.
I took a five week class in hand building with stoneware about four years ago, from which I learned two things: working with clay is difficult to master, but could get addictive very quickly; and ceramic artists have the great satisfaction of making something real and tangible. I'm sure an artist like Trevor Lillistone has his bad moments and his frustrations, but looking around his studio, they seemed like they might be few and far between.