Student Spotlight: Gill Usher

Whether you’re keen to start a career as a ceramicist, develop your technique or get creative with your hands, you’ll enjoy courses in Morley’s vibrant ceramics department. We spoke to long time ceramics student Gill Usher about her studies and experience with Morley.

What is your process for creating your work, tell us how you go from idea to final piece? 

I attend Morley once a week to investigate and develop ideas that are totally different to what I make and sell in my own studio at home. I have quite an eclectic way of learning, looking at the process and how to do things, working out how to achieve the end result. I’m very drawn to natural shapes and forms finding inspiration everywhere. One of the subjects I have focused on is piping clay to produce delicate coral like sculptures using different nozzles, getting the consistency of the clay just right to hold the form. I quite like monotony and can happily spend time making thousands of components to create a piece of work. I have so far investigated hand forming, weaving, sprigging, unusual glazing, origami, flocking and piping.

The ceramic department is very well equipped, and I have devoted time looking at glaze making after attending a glaze course there. It’s something I couldn’t do at home and having all the materials needed allowed me to investigate and test which glazes work for me and my work

What do you think makes Morley special?

Morley Ceramics Department with all its resources and the knowledge shared by my tutor Duncan Hooson and technician Alex Huber is also a huge asset. To be able to draw from their expertise and skills allows me to progress with my own work, something that is very valuable.

What’s your favourite part of studying at Morley and what it allows me to do?

Attending the class gives me that added source of learning from my peers, a place we can bounce ideas around with likeminded people and the lessons have a real sense of community. We are all following our own path and producing very different work which reflects who we are and we inspire each other. I like this freedom of not being on a treadmill of us all learning the same, we set our own projects but there will sometimes be a project set by the department which you can choose to do or not. I like a project as it can sometimes make you work in a different way pushing you into a different direction.

Why not unleash your creativity and try your hand at Ceramics? We have a broad offer for your to discover.

Specialist Short Courses for Adults

Get stuck into the creativity of ceramics and enjoy working with your hands with specialist short courses for adults. Whether you’ve never thrown before or are experienced at the wheel and looking to perfect your technique, you’ll enjoy studying in our inspiring and supportive environment.

Higher Education

Our HND in Ceramics enables students to further develop their ceramic skill set, design style and conceptual thinking. You will gain excellent practical knowledge and advanced design skills to support your career, as well as build connections with the industry.