Pottery Pets by Alice Johnson

Alice Johnson is a British ceramicist based in London. Her aim is to evoke a sense of joy, humour and nostalgia is central to her work. She does this through a playful use of colour, shape and form; aiming to tell a story or simply put a smile on people’s faces through her work.

Alice runs Pottery Pets where she makes bespoke customised sculptures of people’s pets. A way to capture their personalities in a characterful way through clay as a way for the pet to be captured in ceramic forever.

The main aim is to create something that will be treasured forever, to be passed down through the generations; a way to tell stories and evoke memories “this was Grandma’s cat…”

How it started

The first pets I made were back in 2015 at a pottery course of my two beloved spaniels. I then made a few pets for friends and then it snowballed from there. I feel very lucky that this is what I get to as a job, and am so grateful to all of those who have faith in my pet pottering abilities, they really all are a joy to make.

The Pet Making Process

Each pet is completely bespoke, lovingly handmade and painted. They are made from earthenware clay where I constantly look at the photo of the pet as I make. The clay must be bone dry and then goes into the kiln for its first firing which turns the clay into ceramic. I then hand paint the features with underglaze paints and then they get dunked in transparent glaze and have a second firing, which makes them nice and shiny and the colours more zingy.

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Alice painting pets in her Hoxton studio
Photography by Sophie Davidson

Portrait of Alice at home
Photography by Sophie Davidson
Work in progress
All in the detail - painting eyes on a pottery pet
Photography by Sophie Davidson