Meet the tutor: Dee Barnes

We caught up with Dee to find out about her art and what is in her Attenborough Arts at Home kit.

Tell us about you.

What is the artform that you teach and what drew you to it?

I teach pottery. I have worked with clay for over 35 years and I love the tactile quality of clay, working with my hands and the endless possibilities to create things with such a simple medium.

Where did you learn to work with clay?

I am self taught but originally I learnt pottery through the adult education services in London, where I lived throughout the 1980’s.

What inspires you as an artist?

I am inspired by many things including colour, pattern and form found in art and the world around me. It really doesn’t take much for me to find inspiration.

Who are the artists or role models that have inspired or influenced you in your artistic journey/career?

I am a ‘hand builder’, meaning I do not use a pottery wheel. I have been inspired by many potters over the years but I am currently influenced by an American potter called Sunshine Cobb; I regard her as a ‘master builder’. I am also inspired by mixed media artists Matt and Amanda Caines as their love of making is endless and they explore different mediums and materials within their practise.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I originally trained in contemporary dance and then went on to run my own contemporary craft gallery for 20 years. I am also a contemporary mixed media jeweller and sell both my ceramics and jewellery in galleries and shops throughout the UK.

Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of your art profession that demands your attention?

I practise pilates and love exploring new places whilst out walking, but my main interest is my every day working practice because I do not see it as a job but a way of life.

What is your most prized piece of work, the one you feel most proud of?

I made a collection of jewellery for Grayson Perry's exhibition ‘Tomb of the unknown craftsman’ at the British Museum in 2011. Running my own successful gallery in Lincoln for 20 years.

Tell us about your kit.

We are really excited to show your kit, what is it that you will be teaching?

I will be teaching how to make a candle stick from air dry clay

How did you come to get involved with Attenborough Arts Centre?

My family and I moved to Leicester in 2015 as my husband works at the centre. When I heard they had a kiln but no one was teaching pottery classes I saw the opportunity to restart my teaching practice and have run classes there ever since.

What is in your kit that students will receive as part of your course?

Air drying clay and a useful selection of pottery tools and a set of acrylic paints and brushes which students will keep forever.

Are there any pre-requisite materials students will need or need to purchase separately?

No tools but they may like to have some water on the side to keep the clay from drying out, a mat or cloth or board to work on.

Are there plans for more in the future i.e. for exhibiting your work somewhere?

I will hopefully be selling my work at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Attenborough centre later this year. You can see where my work is stocked through my website

Where can we find out more about your ceramics?