Vera Stride is a self taught artist and sculptor living in the Broadsands area of Torbay. Her first contact with clay was in 1964 at evening classes making pots, and it was then that she found her calling. So after raising her family, and moving to Torbay with her husband in 1995, she started sculpting with clay.
Vera has mostly learnt through personal study and observations of life rather than from structured classes. Her love of drawing and lines governs the way she work with clay - exploring all the contours throughout a pose. She uses mainly terracotta clay to which she adds silver sand and sometimes paper pulp to create texture and a variety of finished upon firing. Surface texture, colour and glaze effects and mishaps are an important part of her work, especially the results of the Raku process, alway the beautifully unexpected.
As Vera says "Clay is such a wonderful tactile material and when fired gives the work a great palpable energy."
Vera specialises in Raku and smoke firing techniques, and is mainly interested in capturing the expression and attitude of a subject. Her work includes figurative, animals and bird forms. She prefers to work from life but when this is not possible she uses photographs.
She only produces original work, each sculpture she produces is hand modelled and completely unique, all on offs, no casts, just clay and fire.
Vera is a member of the Westcountry Potters Association.