Adrian Bates worked in graphics for 20 years before doing an evening class working in clay in 2000. Following a debilitating illness, he subsequently moved into teaching and over the next decade taught woodwork, built a forge, taught copper beating, silversmithing and ceramics. He became a full time maker in 2012.
His pieces are made of a combination of thrown and slab built elements, ranging from thrown base and a single slab lift, to thrown base and up to 13 slabs formed into up to 5 lifts for the very large (1.25m high) Tall Inward vessels. The pieces are as simplified as Adrian can make them with a minimum of superficial decoration, so that there is no interference with the overall form.
His ability to eliminate the joints from showing has been very challenging, but he has now achieved the necessary integrity, so the forms shine through without distraction. Any glazing is used sparingly on some pieces to emphasise a contrast between ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ surfaces. Most interiors are glazed by pouring and most exteriors are spray glazed; interiors and exteriors meet and merge very visibly, so great care is needed to obtain a clean definition. For unglazed surfaced, a subtle surface texture is used – usually burnished lightly back to make them softer and subtler.