Holmes, Janet

Shore-white-stoneware-100Janet Holmes


Janet Holmes


Three year ceramics course. Wirral Metropolitan Art College, Wallasey, WirralFormer member of Birkenhead pottery. First set up in Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, before being established in Birkenhead Park, Wirral


Janet Holmes – Sculptural Ceramics‘My work is hand crafted sculptural ceramics, made by coiling the clay or slab. The clay used is stoneware. Either an off white/buff, red, white or black body. The extra colour detail in ‘Shore’ is manganese dioxide’

Janet was born and grew up in Wallasey on the Wirral. While attending a Saturday morning life class, a casual remark was made that she may find working in a three dimensional medium more rewarding. This insight set her on a life long exploration of the endless possibilities of creative ceramics and an enduring love of clay.

The following time spent at Art College and small independent potteries saw her fierce individuality and single minded vision begin to shine. Her work is deeply rooted in a respect for the clay’s natural economy, incorporating textures that suggest intermit and sensuous curves. With an unpretentious organic element, Janet’s free-spiritedness and insationable desire for life and her art, is reflected in a highly personal approach to her pottery.

Since becoming a single mum, she has continued her quixotic journey, mounting successful exhibitions, teaching and assembling a fine body of work but never to the detriment of her beloved family and friends. These paradoxical needs have made her into a skilled juggler of her time that any world class circus act would envy.

A life long disciple of the wit and wisdom of the Marx Brothers and an almost fanatical emersion in art, poetry, literature and classical music, at times, her life has mirrored the emotional rollercoaster of the M.G.M. musicals that she adores.  All of these things are represented and reflected in ever new piece she completes.

Janet celebrates the creative diversity of the clay and the individuality of the potter. Exposing the naked qualities of the clay; incorporating sensual curves, soft form and contrasting textures is the essence of her work. Also discovering what is special about each of us and celebrating that. “We all have a part of us that we keep hidden” says Janet. “My work reflects that part of me. I feel we all need to take a chance and show who we really are and celebrate that”.

She is looking away from the uniformity of mass production and more towards individualism. What an exciting prospect, people embracing uniqueness and exploring it for themselves. As quoted by John Cassavetes “No matter how old you get, if you keep the desire to be creative, you’re keeping the man-child alive”. This is the essence of her work, celebrating creativity in our selves.

Each piece is made by hand coiling the stoneware clay into individual forms. No two pieces are the same. They are then fired twice so that each piece can be exhibited either in or outdoors.

Janet’s pieces reflect her moods and thoughts and married to the clay’s tangible and malleable qualities produce highly personal, expressive and unique work.


Work exhibited at:
The Gatehouse Gallery, Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow
South Street Gallery, 6-8 South Street, Scarborough
View Two Gallery, Mathew Street Liverpool
Editions Gallery, 16, Cook Street, Liverpool
Watergate Street Gallery, 60 Watergate Street, Chester
Staacks, 144 Banks Road, West Kirby, Wirral
The Stables, Brimstage Hall, Wirral
Enigmas Gallery One, 11 Broadway, Wirral
Hudsons Interior Design, WirralExhibitions and events:
Impressions sculptural ceramic workshops, The Stables gallery, Brimsatge. 13th and 28th November 2010

Work exhibited at the 1st Birthday exhibition of Staacks, West Kirby. 1st October – 31st October 2010.

Autumn Inspired, Sculptural ceramics workshop at Burton Manor – October 2010

Spring Inspired, Sculptural ceramic workshop to be held at Burton Manor on Sunday 12 March 2011

August 2010 Summer creation – Demonstration and meet the artist – South Street Gallery, Scarborough.

Impressions of Nature. Sculptural pottery course held at Burton Manor College  – June 2010

Exploring clay, community bases art sessions, Wirral February 2010

Work in progress – Meet the artist. The Stables Gallery Wirral – Events organised on a regular basis.

Art & Design in the City – Empire Theatre – Liverpool October 2009

Art & Design in the City – Bluecoat, Liverpool July 2009

Wirral Spring Art & Photography Exhibition April – May 2009

One Hundred views of Mitate, Editions, Liverpool. May 2009

Spring Exhibition, HeadSpace@EggSpace – Liverpool 2009

Two Views, One Vision – Interactive exhibition, Liverpool – March 2009

Permanent display at Michelin Awarded Restaurant “Fraiche”

Arena Art & Design charity auction, Liverpool. – Jan 2009

Festive Fired – exhibition and unveiling of community piece – December 2008. Now a permanent display Birkenhead Priory, Wirral

First solo sculptural ceramic exhibition “FIRED” at Birkenhead Priory, Wirral, which included instigating a community art work – Sept 2008

Exhibited at Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool

Opportunity for Expression – Organized and exhibited – mixed media exhibition, Wirral

“Seven Deadly Sins” Group exhibition – Hanover Gallery, Liverpool.

Exhibited at Art Space, Clayton Square, Liverpool

Set up, organised and ran community pottery groups teaching adults and children, Wirral


all images are copyright the artist unless otherwise stated
Shore-white-stoneware Mystery-black-stoneware
‘Shore’ – white stoneware ‘Mystery’ – black stoneware
Listen-red-stoneware Huggle-Pots-buff-and-red-stoneware
‘Listen’ – red stoneware ‘Huggle Pots’ – buff and red stoneware
In-All-Innocence-Buff-Stoneware Prey---buff-stoneware
‘In All Innocence’ – buff stoneware ‘Prey’ – buff stoneware