Katherine Greenwell: Inspired by the Sea

Katherine Greenwell is a ceramic designer and potter. Her work is inspired by the sea, the coast, and Britain’s nautical culture. A recurring theme of her work is the Shipping Forecast, first published in 1860. From this she has created a collection of carved, colour-washed maps of the areas covered by the forecast.

Katherine had a seaboard start to life. From Whitehaven in West Cumbria, her family moved to the Solomon Islands, and she then spent some years working in Ullapool in the North West of Scotland. These places have left her with a deep and enduring love and respect for the sea and coastal areas.

Despite now being landlocked in West Yorkshire, Katherine continues to listen to the shipping forecast. This vital information service is a daily reminder that we are an island people. It speaks the language of adventure, wilderness and life beyond the solid ground of everyday. It is now well and truly under her skin and inspires her work. Her work explores her interest in maps, migrations, the environment, and social justice.

Katherine Greenwell under a umbrella

Katherine Greenwell trained as a community artist in Manchester and then moved to West Yorkshire with husband Jim to raise their family.

When Katherine began working with clay in 1995 she experienced a spring of emotion that led to her becoming a professional ceramic artist and establishing Atlantic Ceramics

Katherine first studied ceramics with Elspeth Owen and became committed to pinch pots. Most of her work for Mirabilis at Fair Trader is a development of that theme. Chunky pinched pots that could have formed in the bottom of rock pools or broken off a reef and washed up on a shoreline. There may be the odd swallow swooping over a mug or platter too.

She is an active member of a worldwide community of potters expressing their life journeys and earning their livings through clay. She is also part of the small team who runs the annual Great Charity Pot and Print Fair