Patricia Shone was born in Scotland but grew up in South Devon. After studying ceramics in London, a love of food led her to work as a chef both in London and in Italy, eventually leading her to Skye where she returned to potting and where she has remained for twenty years.
‘My work is informed by the powerful landscape around me on the Isle of Skye. It develops in response to the feeling of connection with its inhabitants and their passage across the land. By walking the paths of predecessors I contribute to the formation of the paths at the same time as obliterating previous footsteps; as an incomer to this community I absorb and am changed by its culture whilst altering it by my presence here. The nuances of contradiction in the human experience of life are very visible here, but the community survives, just as the surfaces of the land are eroded but the substance of it remains constant and immutable.
I make mostly functional forms, boxes, bowls, jars, rather than direct representation of the landscape, because they are innately human vessels; they represent the human condition of surface and content. The natural textures produced by clay reflect the formation and erosion in the geology of the land. The techniques I use to make my pots encourage the development of these textures on the surface of a tight and formal vessel. It has taken many years for me to begin to understand this path in my work, and that our scars from living can be seen mirrored in the scars on the land. The pieces are made by hand building and throwing, texturing, stretching and carving. Colours are achieved using slips, oxides and glazes but most of all by the firing processes. I use raku firing for soft earthenware blacks and greys; wood firing for warm earth tones and glazed stoneware; saggar firing within the wood kiln for dark greys and glazed stoneware. This gives me a wide range of textures and densities of ceramic surface and body.’ Patricia Shone, 2018.
Patricia Shone was the subject of a solo exhibition – Textures Of The Land – at The Scottish Gallery in January 2020.