Nous Vous' William Edmonds has spent some time throwing a new series of Face Pots for the YCN Shop. Hand-painted, hand-glazed and extremely likeable, these Face Pots have found their way onto many a mantlepiece and windowsill. We chatted with William to discover more about his developing relationship with the world of ceramics.

YCN: How and where did your relationship with ceramics start?

William Edmonds: I started learning how to throw a pot over two years ago, on something of a whim. I was becoming interested in ancient cultures and especially the relics they have left behind. What began initially as simply an aesthetic appreciation led me to be captivated by the universal and instinctual craft of pottery. 

YCN: How does it relate to your practice, both individually and as part of the Nous Vous collective?

WE: Initially pottery was a way to fill the already busy shelves of my home. I experimented with a few ways of incorporating this new medium into my work and whilst I'm still definitely learning, rather than attempting more illustrative pots which I tried initially, I now let the clay guide me. The reason I like to throw a pot, as much as look at one, is the similarity it has with drawing. And as much as drawing from my drawings, pottery also has fed back into my other work, helping me focus on what it is I like about creating, and what a creative act needs to be for me to really vibe with it.

In terms of Nous Vous we all have our own personal concerns as well as our collective ambitions and I feel it is these individual idiosyncrasies that make the group a more dynamic, interesting place to work and hopefully to encounter.

YCN: Your face pots are extremely likeable, do you get quite attached to your ceramic works?

WE: It's difficult not to. In general I tend to work quite quickly, getting absorbed by trying to capture a moment. If it doesn't vibe then, it never will. My pots are often the things that I spend the most time on and it can be troubling when they come out differently to how you expect. I've recently started to smash pots that don't come out as I would have hoped. This may seem a little rash but it is very cathartic and adds to the ritual of it all.

YCN: Has working in this medium opened up any previously unseen opportunities for you?

WE: It has made me realise that I have a brain that accommodates three dimensional thoughts. I find it quite easy to put things together in an imaginary space in my head and I think this has helped me develop work that has more of a sculptural tendency. It has helped me play more whilst making work, now I'm more about 'seeing what happens'.

YCN: What's next on the horizon for your ceramic work?

WE: I am constantly trying to make sure that my ceramic pieces feel very much a part of my output as a whole. So they sit alongside my drawing, writing, music or 3d projects to make a body of work, a family of pieces. I am working on my first collection that I'll hopefully show some of in an exhibition later in the year alongside drawings, fabric works and music. I hope it brings about commissions as that's a nice way of working; making something for a specific person or use.

William's Face Pots are now on sale in the YCN Shop & Library at 72 Rivington Street.

Joining our Learning Network

Imaginative organisations, large and small, use YCN to build capabilities throughout their teams in modern, motivating and memorable ways.

Our peer-led membership programme is a popular starting point; giving teams open and self-directed access to a weekly calendar of in-person learning, a digital learning platform and a personal relationship with our own connective central team.

Find out more about what we offer in this PDF, or by contacting Nick Defty on nd@ycn.org.