photograph of Jessie Alcaraz

Jessie Alcaraz

Tutor for the 12-15 prize winners workshop
Young Open 2020

Jessie Alcaraz is a potter, who works from her wonderful studio space in Mells.

She got introduced to pot making in 2003, when she attended an adult education class in North London led by the potter Anna Silverton. Before that she studied acid etching and enamelling on kiln fired glass at Roehampton in the early 1990s, followed by a career in teaching.

A move from London to Hampshire introduced her to West Dean College where she took classes with Alison Sanderman, whose infectious humour and ability to impart age-old traditional methods of making and best practice proved invaluable in building her skills base. Throwing skills developed further with the help of Master Potters Chris Keenan and Tim Andrews, and as Bernard Leach would say, “learning by doing”; sitting at the wheel and practicing over and over. After combining making with teaching ceramics, she eventually set up her first studio in Portsmouth in 2012.

Today she aims to create functional tableware using stoneware clay and handmade glazes: bowls, cups, jugs and dishes that we use every day to eat and drink from; serve and celebrate with; that form part of the fabric of our lives. She continues to seek a perfect marriage between the form and function of the pot, the clay body and its glaze.