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Making during lockdown: ELIZABETH RENTON

Elizabeth Renton on social isolation and distancing…

I cycle every day to my studio, so I never really work from home. When we went into lockdown, I just grabbed a bag of clay and a few tools – I thought we’ll probably only be away from work a short time!
The weather seemed unusually good for this time of year, so I quickly decided to take my wheel with me and try working in the garden. I was determined not to take my wheel into my home; it’s just too messy and contaminates everything.

The weather indeed continued to be glorious. However, my outside space proved quite challenging as it’s a typical city garden, a paved courtyard. It’s great for plants as it heats up quickly but working with clay was a different experience altogether. Pulled handles and jug rims were drying way too fast even in the shade! Hence I had to work far more quickly than I usually do, which was a freeing experience – I worked on smaller pieces like cups, jugs etc. this enabled me to finish faster.

I also kept all my work outside, wrapping in refuse bags. I took the risk of the urban foxes in my neighbourhood! I was pleasantly surprised to find they kept beautifully cool overnight and untouched by animal life except for a few slugs and they were good to work with for a while at least!

I have now been able to go back to my studio building. I am still working in isolation as my room is separate and has a closed-door – we are not allowed to go into any common areas like the kitchen. Interestingly, I have been working on much larger pieces, for example, vases and sculptural pieces!

Elizabeth is exhibiting with us at MADE Marylebone and MADE MAKERS online 13 – 14th June. Watch @tuttonandyoung Instagram for more sneak peeks of Elizabeth’s pieces!

See more of Elizabeth’s work here: www.elizabethrenton.co.uk