Master Potter Mark Baker
41 years potting
History of Master Potter Mark Owen Baker and the starting of the Tradpots Studio
Mark has always been fascinated by pottery - one of mans’ oldest skills – after studying he joined a local pottery in Poole and trained as a production thrower. He learned all about working with clay, and became proficient in techniques such as plate making, casting (making items with liquid clay), fettling, glazing, spraying, and firing a kiln. After 10 years he started out on his own and his TRADPOTS STUDIO was born. At first he made his pots at home, selling them at Craft Fairs, but as the business grew he moved to his current premises at the Courtyard Craft Centre in Lytchett Minster.
Above all, Mark enjoys experimenting – trying out new ideas and techniques – and he is constantly testing and using new glazes and designs, much to the delight of local collectors. He still runs classes for both children and adults and they get the freedom to make full and varied use of his Studio facilities and to create whatever they like under his personal supervision, and in a relaxed atmosphere. To top all this, Mark is always willing to take orders from trade customers, or to create a personalized item required by customers for that special occasion or purpose. Why not call in and see him?
Here you will find something very unusual in these modern times – the entire making process from raw clay to the finished articles in his small but well-appointed Studio and Workshop. Mark’s work can be seen in various stages of completion, and you will find him at his throwing wheel, at his casting bench, at his glazing bench, or in the kiln room. You may even be lucky enough to catch him outside his Studio enjoying the sunshine during a rare break, and he’s always happy to share his thoughts and ideas with anyone interested enough to ask.
You can see his finished work for sale in the TRADPOTS Shop, the Purbeck Pottery Shop on the Quay in Poole, and at various Poole Zone events. Although he uses his trade name of TRADPOTS, he is a key player in the Poole Zone team – it is very much a partnership from which everyone benefits - and Mark’s style, reputation, and range have benefited to the extent that his biggest problem now is that he’s too busy. A nice problem, and against the trend in a UK pottery industry which is clearly struggling to survive!