John Wheeldon took up ceramics while he was studying at Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1969 to 1971.
He specializes in Raku firing and produces beautiful effects by covering the top couple of inches with a thick slip before biscuit firing at 980° C. He then applies a copper matt glaze to the lower part and gas fires it to 1000° C. The pot is then removed from the kiln and placed on a thin bed of sawdust which ignites, enveloping the pot in flames. It is then covered with a metal can. In the reducing atmosphere the reaction of the smoke with the areas brushed by the flames produces spectacular chromatic effects.
John, with his wife, Jude, runs the West End Gallery in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where they sell their own pots and those of fellow potters.