After leaving school in 1981, Adrian Guest secured an apprenticeship at Topaz Ceramics in Stoke on Trent, where his primary role was throwing pots, but he also gained experience in all aspects of ceramic production. In 1985 Adrian set up his own business producing hand-thrown ceramic pieces for many years, before eventually starting to make simple sculpture by assembling thrown pots. Adrian Guest now concentrates purely on producing individual animal sculpture, working from his home studio in the West Midlands, selling in exhibitions and galleries throughout the country.
Each sculpture starts from a number of thrown pots made on the potter’s wheel which are left to go leather-hard. They are then cut and assembled to get the rough shape of the animal’s hollow body. Clay is then added to give the final shape and character to the animal, with oxides, raw materials, clay slips and the sculptor’s own glazes applied to give each piece its own unique finish.
Adrian says: I try to capture the essence of the animal, spending a long time observing, photographing and sketching the animal before I start to sculpt it. I am a regular visitor to the West Midland Safari Park where I take hundreds of photographs of each animal I intend to sculpt. I am fascinated by muscle structure and how the skin folds with movement, and always strive to convey this in my work.