Fleen Doran - Micki Schloessingk 2010-2011

My apprenticeship in wood-fired salt-glaze pottery with Micki 

 In 2010 having just completed my degree in ceramics at UWIC, I moved to Gower peninsula to live and work with Micki Schloessingk. What started out as a year’s funded apprenticeship lend on to further years working together.

I gained a lot of practical making skills, preparing the clay, making and finishing pots, mixing slips, decorating pots, packing and firing the kiln, all the things you might imagine, but making and firing is only half the story! To be a self-sufficient potter I soon learnt it’s also good to have skills as a photographer, publicity and website manager, events organiser, builder, seller, cleaner, teacher, and so on!
Being involved with all aspects at Bridge Pottery during my apprenticeship years gave me a very good grounding on which to develop my own work, working habits and start my career as a self-employed potter.

During my apprenticeship Micki was very encouraging of me pursuing my own range of work. Dedicated ‘Fleen days’ were planned each week for me to explore my own potting, slips, glazes and techniques. On these days I would often have a tutorial with Micki. We would chat through ideas and resolve ‘making’ problems, which was always constructive.

What I am doing now...

Having moved to the Forest of Dean I continue to make my own pottery, I make functional pots for the kitchen and home with simple stamp decoration. I return to Bridge Pottery to share the wood salt kiln with Micki.

I also work as a free-lance potter, I am currently production potting with Stuart Houghton, making a range of beautiful, simple porcelain tableware. I regularly go back to Bridge Pottery where I continue to make some of the Bridge Pottery range for Micki.

I really enjoy teaching children and adults and run regular pottery workshops at a local prep school where I have two groups of children aged 7—13. 

You can visit my website here: www.fleendoran.com
Or visit my Fleen blog 

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