Artist biography

Sally Mills combines clay and glass to produce unique, handmade artwork. Intricate, detailed textures in nature are her main inspiration together with the relationship that these textures have when they encounter water.

Sally has been working with clay for over 20 years and a growing intrigue with the medium of glass led her on a pioneering journey of experimentation to successfully combine these opposing materials that can be seen in her latest vibrant collection of wall hung designs. Sally works with white earthenware clay and adds fritted glass in the second glaze firing. The glass colours change in the firing so her extensive testing of the glass allows her to ‘paint’ blind but with a clear idea of the results.

She works with the contrasts that these two elements create - the dry textured clay and the fluidity, transparency and depth of colour of the molten glass. Her work is a storyboard - connecting with evocative memories, allowing the viewer to revisit a treasured location, emotion or experience. Travelling and photographic studies of coastal areas from around world is a passion of hers. The memories from these trips inform and inspire her work.

Sally studied Ceramics at Middlesex University, where she also took a module in glass. She was taught by some of the UK’s leading ceramicists, Mo Jupp, Emmanuel Cooper and Kate Malone. Sally was apprenticed to Kate and it was her bravery with colour and texture that was a significant influence on Sally’s creative development.

1990-1994 BA Hons Ceramics Middlesex University
+ Year 3 placement in industry as an apprentice to world renowned ceramicist Kate Malone.

1995-2000 Owner Shine Design
Design and manufacture of handmade studio ceramics. Sally set up a studio and shop in Bedfordshire. and exhibited at international trade fairs. Closed down as she took a career break to raise a family.

2000-2010 Snr Ceramic Teaching Technician (PT) at Samuel Whitbread Academy
Sally set up a ceramic department in the large secondary school, from sourcing all equipment and materials to training teaching staff. Taught ceramics to GCSE and A’Level students.

2000-2010 Freelance Ceramic Tutor
Sally ran adult and children pottery classes and workshops, some through local authority, some designed and ran herself. She also designed and ran Precious Metal Clay (PMC) workshops and trained students up to level 3.

2010-2015 Secondary School Art Teacher SKITT PGCE Training at Samuel Whitbread Academy
Completed her PGCE teacher training and became a full time secondary school art teacher for four years, teaching the full range of art techniques including ceramics,
glass, painting, printing to GCSE and A’Level.

Present Sally Mills Ceramics & Glass
Due to her family being more independent, she decided to set up as an artist again. After two years of experimenting with combining clay and glass she now produces ceramic and glass artwork to be hung or grouted on walls. Sally formally launched her new business May 2017.