Sarah Koetsier Ceramics

22 September 2023

I have been a ceramicist for about 7 years and have spent the last three years working from the pottery studio on Balcaskie Estate. It is what I would call my first proper studio having worked out of a room in my flat after graduating university and a rather cold garage after that. It has been such a beautiful place to work.

Most normal people are probably not quite thinking about Christmas yet but like many makers I am gearing up for my busy craft fair season as we move closer to the winter. I have been busy in the studio now making work for the fairs that will start in November. I will usually start making for winter fairs in July as I need all the time I can get. Generally, because I work another job, I spend about two and a half days in the studio but as we move closer to the fairs it usually means a few evenings here and there unloading and reloading the kiln and a weekend on occasion if I really need to get things moving along.

My days are varied between throwing (making pots on the wheel), turning (adding a foot on the base, taking off any extra clay, and refining the shape), decorating, and glazing. The early Autumn it is mainly devoted to throwing and turning. As I move into late October early November, I do most of my decorating and glazing. As I am a small batch ceramicist this cycle works best for me, I do most of my making first and then all my decorating and glazing.

This week I have been throwing and turning some smaller pieces for the fairs and several larger vase halves that I will connect hopefully next week when they are dry enough to turn and attach. My work is made in porcelain and requires very slow drying before firing. This means the earlier I can get started on a piece the better to allow plenty of time to dry, especially when it is a large piece or one that has a join as these are more prone to cracking.

I have also loaded the kiln for bisque (up to 1080°C), the first of two firings, so that when it comes to glazing time I will have plenty of work ready to be decorated. The work that comes out will wait to be decorated, then glazed, and then fired for the final time to 1260°C. The porcelain I use has a shrinkage rate of approximately 18% which means all the way back to when I am throwing the pieces I need to keep in mind how much they will shrink.

I will be at The V&A, The Aberdeen Art Gallery, and the Estates very own Bowhouse this Christmas season. If you want to keep up with where I will be selling this winter then head over to my Instagram, sarah.c.crafty, where I will have updates on where I will be and when. Please pop over to my website,,  if you would like to see more of my work and my Instagram for work in progress.



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