Lorraine is the designer maker of Woodsetton Art Pottery based in the Black Country village of the same name. Lorraine gained her BA (Hons.) at Bath Academy of Art were she specialised in building oil and wood fired salt kilns before working in the pottery industry in Stoke for 8 years.
Lorraine Bates’ work at Woodsetton Art Pottery Est. 1986 is rooted in one traditional Black Country technique of combining metal with clay. Coming from a family of metal workers; the initial inspiration came from studying the local metal and ceramics of the Arts and crafts era, notably the pioneering Ruskin Pottery.
The stoneware and porcelain clays are formed using techniques of throwing, hand building and sometimes casting, to make pieces of use.
Our studio pieces bring together the designs which result from a 30 year history of making bespoke ranges for numerous national and international galleries including The Victoria and Albert Museum. Designing to the briefs presented by historians and academics brings a discipline of inspiring constraints to general studio practice. A ongoing project is working with Keswick Museum and Art Gallery using inspiration from their collections of the work of The Keswick School of Industrial Arts 1835.
In addition, gallery pieces are made by transforming the clays, minerals and fossils of the area of The Black Country Unesco Geopark, on which the studio stands. Following Lorraine’s early career in Stoke in technical ceramics, she keeps glaze formulations and long firing cycles constantly in flux, thus ensuring that each firing presents something new. Our current gallery project is developing in conjunction with The Lapworth Museum of Geology.
Lorraine trained at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. Studying under John Colbeck, Les Sharpe, John Ford, Jill Radford and Elizabeth Frayling. Visiting lecturers; Eduardo Paolozzi, Ian Gregory, Mo Jupp, John Leach, Michael Casson, Andrew McGarva, Felicity Aylieff, Sasha Wardell and Joanna Constantinidis.
She worked her summers at college learning to be a production thrower in a Black Country pottery factory and 8 years working in the ceramic industry in Stoke on Trent whilst setting up a studio alongside her family’s firm of pewterers in Woodsetton.
Regularly exhibiting work in museums and galleries, Lorraine lectures widely and is a past chairperson of The Midlands Potters Association. Winning 5 product’s design awards over the years for her bespoke museum collections from the British Jewellery and Giftware Federation.