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Fi Underhill

I’m a potter and artist. I started working with clay in 2012 as an apprentice at North Street Potters in London, alongside a collective of women who taught me to throw. I then worked as a production potter at Selborne Pottery. As I went deeper into functionality/repetition and began to feel the physical effects of making, I wondered about ways I could approach the relationship between body and clay with greater freedom and curiosity which led me to complete an MA in Ceramics at Bath Spa. I now make both functional and conceptual work from my studio in Somerset.


Instagram: @fiunderhill

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Artist Statement

I use clay as a medium to explore the reciprocal relationship between body, space and ground.


I am intrigued by the idea that clay has memory, a remembered form that it will always return to. Our bodies hold similar memories; layers of experience are absorbed by a body, stored and re-emerge down the line. I am fascinated by the parallels between clay and the body it interacts with in the process of being made into something new. This is a profound source material and keeps me coming back to making with clay.


For this project, I dug, sieved and reclaimed my bodyweight in clay from my back garden and used this to make with before packing it back up ready to be used in a new way. I made pigment from the clay, used it to paint with as well as exposing slabs of the clay onto screens which I subsequently printed using ink made from the clay pigment. I made objects with the clay as a means of thinking. Above all, I got to know the clay intimately. The resulting work is ever-evolving, with each iteration using layers of what came before recycled into fresh ideas and images each time I interact with it.

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