Lily Pearmain


Lily is a self-taught London based potter and sculptor. Her work is clean, minimal and focuses on the inherent qualities of clay and the centuries old skill of wheel throwing. She studied Russian and worked as a sourdough baker before discovering her love of clay.
She spent 5 weeks on a residency in The Cotswolds earlier this year, and has recently produced work for Matches Fashion and The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?

My favourite book of all time is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I read it almost every year and studied Russian based on my love of that book. It's a bit obsessive I know, but I've never read a novel like that before. It somehow manages to be absolutely everything you could possibly want a book to be and more.
Now my book choices are all to do with clay, currently I'm reading a biography of Hans Coper, alongside a really exciting essay by Soetsu Yanagi called The Beauty of Everyday Things. It's getting me really juiced up about the importance of what I do.

Most visited blogs, websites? : 

Eeesh who has time?! I guess my most visited website is Gmail.

What apps do you use the most and why?

Depressingly, Instagram. I hate it, like everyone else, and am totally addicted, like everyone else. I fantasise about being able to kick it, but then I'm fairly sure it's important to my job. I try and see it as a portfolio of what I'm up to.
Other than that I don't really use apps. Again, who has time?!

Whats currently on your playlist?

Bofou Safou by Amadou & Mariam
People Everywhere (Still Alive) by Khruangbin
Summer Madness S.A. by Karriem Riggins
Str8 Outta Mumbai by Jai Paul
Made To Stray by Mount Kimbie
Sun by Caribou
Music Is The Answer by Joe Goddard
Only Human by KH, Four Tet
Semillero by Dengue Dengue Dengue
Chamber by Scalping

What records would you recommend to hear?

Kate Tempest, The Book Of Traps And Lessons. For when you're feeling really disengaged, frustrated and alone. She manages to articulate every emotion you've ever felt about being a human in the current political climate, then make you angry and then hopeful. It's a journey and one I've cried to a couple of times.

Which artists working today do you admire most?

John Born
Derek Wilson
Simone Bodmer Turner
Lisa Hammond
Ian Thomas
Dylan Bowen
Julian Stair

What are some of your tv top tips right now?

I don't watch much TV, but I had flu recently and What We Do In The Shadows kept me laughing through it.

Who are you following?

My mates and people I want to be my mate.

What tools do you use in your work?

My wheel and kiln are my main tools I guess. But I have a real affinity for the tools I use while throwing and turning. A natural sponge is a joy, and I use an old student card as a kidney (a type of throwing tool which helps to shape the form and remove excess clay). I like a curly wire, a sharp knife, and I have these sculpting tools that a friend gave me which help to make joins really nice and smooooth.

What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?

I steal the London Review of Books from my brothers house, and Hole And Corner is a really lovely craft-focussed magazine.

What are your favorite gadgets?

I have a really lame film camera that looks like something my mum would have used in the 90's. I only use it often enough to use up a roll of film once every 3 months or so, so when I get it developed it's a real treat because I've forgotten everything I'd taken photos of.
I also use a physical diary. It's more for keeping track of dates than writing down who I fancy, and it's a nightmare when I lose it, but there's something really nice about having a place to write down my plans.


Lily Pearmain


Portrait image by © Calum Duncan