Sandy Bywater
Photo: Neil Pledger

About Sandy Bywater

Sandy has been working in clay for 35 years. She trained in Studio Ceramics at the University of Derby and graduated in 1988. After which she trained as a lecturer and then worked in Further Education for many years teaching ceramics. Sandy has also worked as a community artist for local arts organisations and has undertaken public commissions. Sandy has always maintained a workshop at home and has combined teaching with making. Along the way there has been some interesting opportunities to travel as an artist and learn about different cultures and traditions in ceramics.

In 1991 her work was spotted by a visiting Russian artist who invited her to go and work in Minsk. At that time USSR was breaking up and people were reaching out to the west to make contact. It was an exciting trip at an eventful time in history. The first coup taking place in 1991 at the time of Sandy’s visit. A fascinating trip into the communist art system and newly rebelling artists situation. Article in Ceramic Review #CR136, Bywater in Belarus. 1991.

In 2004 Sandy was awarded an Arts Council grant to support a ceramics residency in Jingdezhen, China. Jingdezhen is famous as the home of porcelain which has a long and fascinating history. It’s also a thriving city of potters and people working in the ceramics industry. It was here that Sandy started to work with porcelain and its’ translucency, making lamps. Sandy visited Jingdezhen again in 2006 this time to work in a sculpture factory and learn the techniques of mould making. 

More recently her work has changed direction to become more earthy and reflects her joy of being in nature.

“I love being outdoors on a wind-swept beach or walking up a Scottish mountain but often I’m just walking in the woods with my dogs. Being in a landscape you can feel small and far away from the busyness of life; inspiration comes in moments of stillness and tranquility. “