Joe Finch

Joe Finch, son of Ray Finch of The Winchcomb Pottery, lives and works in west Wales having travelled the globe in his quest to understand different potting techniques. He is a member of the South Wales Potters Association. This is but a small selection of his current output and we will bring more back again later this year.

Deep swirl bowl

Deep Swirl Bowl

19cms diameter
45.00 not including shipping

Sausage Dish

Sausage Dish

28cms diameter
£65.00 not including shipping

Rice Bowl

Chopstick Bowl

16cms diameter
£35.00 not including shipping

Joe makes pots for every day use: dishes, bowls, jugs and plates, pots for cooking and serving food, vases for flowers. Practical, unassuming, stoneware ceramics. His pots are ‘raw-glazed’ then ‘once fired’ in a large wood burning kiln that he designed and built himself.

He started his pottery career in 1964 with a four year apprenticeship training under his father Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery. Whilst learning the more obvious skills such as throwing, glazing and firing, he developed a natural eye for strong, functional forms, and the flexibility to produce pots that are both desirable and affordable. All these factors are still paramount in his work.

In 1968 he travelled to Africa where he was sponsored to establish Kolonyama Pottery, Lesotho’s first studio pottery. In 18 months, with the help of his wife Trudi, a large oil fired kiln was built and blunger, filter-press, wheels, etc. installed. Clays and glazes were tested, six local staff trained and three major exhibitions held.

On their return Joe and Trudi worked again at Winchcombe until 1973 when they moved to Appin in North West Scotland to set up their own pottery. The proximity of a sawmill persuaded Joe to use wood as a fuel. His love and fascination of wood firing continues and is now characteristic of his work.

During the Scottish winters of 1975 and 1977 they revisited Southern Africa and in 1979 spent three months in Australia. On each occasion they have held pottery master-class demonstrations and ended their stay with an exhibition.

In 1980 he was invited to co-manage the Dartington Pottery Training Workshop for six months.

They moved to Wales in 1984 living first in New Radnor, Powys and then on to West Wales. Here in a workshop converted from a stone barn Joe first made earthenware using an electric kiln. However, having secured a supply of wood he returned to producing stoneware in a redesigned wood fired kiln. Later he added a second chamber in which he ‘soda fires’.

He was invited to go to India in October 1998 and again in April 1999, as part of an aid program, to design and build an efficient wood fired kiln for the Rajasthan potters.

In March 1999 he visited New Zealand where he conducted workshops demonstrating pottery techniques to local pottery organizations in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Over the years he has demonstrated at many colleges and pottery events throughout the U.K. including three times at the International Potters Festival in Aberystwyth.