Ceramicist Frances Palmer Shares Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity

A shelf featuring pottery by Frances Palmer
Photography by Frances Palmer
Cover of Frances Palmer's book Life in the Studio
Published by Artisan, 2020. Images reprinted with permission from Life in the Studio: Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity by Frances Palmer.

Text by Claire Pool

Sharing influential words from her childhood and the story of how she ended up as a potter, multitalented artist Frances Palmer thoughtfully expounds on how to cultivate a creative life in her first book, Life in the Studio: Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity. From step-by-step instructions on how to throw a pot to the best way to arrange dahlias to tasty recipes, this book has it all.

A collection of pottery gathered in the kiln
Photography by Frances Palmer

Throughout the book’s 256 pages, Frances shares her story in three sections, giving insight into how to stimulate your own passions and creativity. Through moving words and life lessons, she sheds light on the importance of doing things you love, seeking inspiration from all around, and establishing a daily routine.

Frances Palmer cutting dahlias in her garden.
Photography by Marion Brenner

For those interested in the methods of pottery, Frances’s in-depth instructions on throwing and sculpting pots, plus tips on alluring glazes and finishing touches, allow readers to receive an intimate glimpse into her artistic processes. Bakers and cooks will be happily surprised by the handful of recipes sprinkled throughout the book, from a Goat Cheese and Leek Tart with a homemade pie dough recipe passed down from Frances’s mother to a Perfect Roast Chicken featured at her dinners with friends. The book’s detailed guides on how to create your own garden getaway and arrange a beautiful bouquet are perfect for those with a green thumb.

Frances working on a vase.
Photography by Frances Palmer

Whether you’re looking for tips and tricks for anything related to pottery and gardening or you enjoy reading about the stories and lifestyle of a potter, Life in the Studio will leave you with a spark of inspiration.

Shop our latest issues for more inspiration!