Ian Rylatt

Ian Rylatt

Tell us a little about what you make?

I am a potter making hand thrown pieces with hand made elements. 
Though I will make anything that I’m inspired to do, over the thirty years I have been making I have been drawn to tea/coffee pots and related items.

Ian Rylatt PotterWhat inspires you and where do you find that inspiration?

I am inspired by the power art has. At school I remember a lad two years older whose work I always thought was amazing. I never spoke to him, but his work spoke to me. And if I could possibly have the same type of impact with what I made on anyone else, then that would be a pleasure worth giving.
As to inspiration for ideas, they can come from anywhere. I do like looking at antiques; the shapes, the colours and the ideas can all spark a desire to make something. It also helps one to understand visually what inspires and what doesn’t, which all helps to refine whatever one is making. 

Tell us about your favourite medium.

Obviously it is clay. I remember thinking at school that one can make anything out of it. That may not be quite true, but the possibilities are huge. An idea can involve other materials, and if that is the case, then it’s the idea that is actually the more important element.

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of being an artist or maker?

Being a potter/ maker/artist is all I’ve ever wanted to be, and if I could give something of art to someone else, what more could I ask? Other issues are not important.

How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist/maker?

The two are always linked. One could say life is art. I remember a teacher at college saying that some people just live art. At the time I did wonder what that meant, but I now think it is true.

What are you working on at the moment?

What I’m working on now is how to do my work. With the way the world is going and the problems that confront us all, I would say firstly it inspires ideas, but it challenges how I am going to execute them. For example if electricity is limited, or is too expensive, that affects the wheels I throw on, and also the firing of kilns. If burning wood, gas or oil is banned, how would one fire a kiln? I have bought a kick wheel recently…but what the future holds for us all is not looking great. Perhaps my art will take a new form in the future. 

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist/maker?

Trying to keep the dream alive of what you really believe in.

What advice would you give to new artists or makers at the start of their creative journey?

Be true to yourself and your dreams.