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Heather Armstrong

I love to make things. Since retiring from my profession as a hospital doctor I have developed practice in ceramics, setting up a studio at my home in rural Nithsdale. Being close to home allows me to manage my creative time and also to take advantage of my inspiration, the natural world. While my garden is no work of art it has become an invaluable resource for my making.

Images of Studio

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About My Practice

I hand build with a variety of different clays applying techniques of rolling, impressing, pinching and coiling. Starting new work sometimes involves preparatory sketches but more often it is a spontaneous response to the clay. Form and texture will emerge as I build. Each stage is intuitive and considered, with the final refining stage giving great satisfaction.
When ready, work is bisque fired in an electric kiln. The smoking process then takes place with a fire being set in a galvanised metal dustbin using a variety of organic combustible materials.
My work is always naked of glaze but receives an enhancing application of a beeswax polish which defines the colour and texture of the smoke-fired ceramic surface.

Tools & Materials

I use a variety of shaped modelling tools, often improvised, made of metal, plastic and wood. I have a slab roller which is a labour saving essential. My kiln is electric running off domestic power supply although I am now delighted to have solar panels taking some of the burden.
My clay supplies are mostly commercial preparations although I do experiment with wild clays if I happen to find them.
Smoke-firing combustibles include wood shavings donated by carpenters and wood-turners, seaweed collected from the Solway shoreline, dry fruit skins and nut shells from the kitchen.

Examples of work

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Offer for Spring Fling Friends

10% off for Friends of Spring Fling




Linnfield, Torthorwald, Dumfries, DG1 3SA


Parking Spaces: 5


Studio opens onto parking area. Doorway wide enough for wheelchair access. No accessible toilet.

Price Range

– £300

Contact Info

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