About the dogs

My dogs start their lives as hollow extruded tubes, which I then cut and form. I start by making the body, which I pack with newspaper to maintain its shape and leave until its leather hard. I then start to construct the rest of the dog, bracing its limbs with props and clay until they are dry enough to support themselves. Where the clay is joined I leave a torn or cut edge, which I hope, shows that I am using clay and how it's put together. I tend to let the clay and the extruder direct what the end dog will look like. For example, the clay tube may curl as I extrude it, which I will then use for the neck of a sitting dog, which is looking down.

Virginia Dowe

Once dried, I fire the dogs in an electric kiln to 1180c. They are then smoke-fired in a small, lidded brick built pit, which is packed with combustibles and left to burn down overnight. The spotty and patchy dogs that I produce are the result of masking areas with clay and foil where I don't want the smoke to go. I enjoy the very natural and often unexpected tones that are achieved using this method. I add glazed noses and eyes to add a bit of life. Underglazes are also used for specific breed colouring.

Each dog is hand crafted and completely unique.

You can now buy selected dogs from my Facebook page