Born in Oxfordshire, I spent most of my childhood abroad in Aden and Peru.

I first became interested in ceramics after watching black and white footage of Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach wood firing a climbing kiln and started making pots at school in Barnes under a Korean potter named Yap then continued making mainly functional stoneware for several years.

I have recently returned to ceramics after many years as a photographer. Becoming involved with the Oxford Anagama project and having a pot fired in the kiln in Wytham Woods rekindled my passion. I live in Cumnor near Oxford, England and work from my studio at home.

Many of my pots are made using the ‘naked raku’ process, so called because they do not have any glaze so the clay is naked. While the pot is still slightly damp it is burnished to a high shine and then bisque fired. When cool it is coated with a layer of slip (liquid clay) and then a layer of glaze and then re-fired. It is taken out of the kiln red hot and allowed to cool slightly which causes the glaze and slip layer to crack so that when it is placed in the sawdust carbon is pulled in through the cracks and stains the clay black, the rest of the pot remains white. When cool the eggshell layer (slip and glaze) is chipped off to reveal the crackle pattern underneath. The pots are then finished with a micro-chrystalline wax developed by the British Museum to protect the patina of valuable objects.

I am working in raku and stoneware, using similar forms in both mediums. I love the bright colours of the raku glazes and the more subdued tones of naked raku and stoneware glazes.


Ian Fraser biog