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Visit with Cousin Charles Stileman of Lockerly, Romsey, Hampshire County, England

On the afternoon of 5 July 2000, we visited with Cousin Charles Stileman and wife Sylvia Mary Douglas Yerburgh Stileman. Sylvia was the niece of the former Vicar [Oswald Roshfort Yerburgh, M.A., Vicar from 1952 - 1959] of St. Mary the Virgin in Steeple Ashton. They were both splendid hosts to the four of us.

Charles Stileman provided me with a scroll of Stileman descendents which I have loaded onto the Otford branch of the Stylleman/Styleman/Stileman/Stillman Genealogy Home Page.

Charles Stileman is a very high-tech potter applying his metallurgical skills to specialized pottery.

Charles Stileman - Over View

My interest in pottery originated from a study of archaeology. Most of my work is thrown on a Leach type kick wheel which I prefer to an electric wheel since it operates silently and I can control speed automatically. My pottery is a small garage with limited space and pots are fired in two electric top loading kilns, the smaller one used for glaze tests.

I started potting 25 years ago at evening classes in London when working as a Research Metallurgist. On retiring and moving to the country and obtaining my own kiln I have been able to fire my pots myself and make up my own glazes. My research experience has found an outlet in developing glazes, a study having endless possibilities. I enjoy handling clay and glaze materials and also, as a conservationist, recycling them.

A computer programme is a great asset in developing my glazes. I have been exploring the effects of various glazes upon slips containing colouring oxides applied before biscuit firing to the raw clay, rather than including the oxides in the glaze. All pots in this exhibition are glazed in this way.

My current interest, illustrated here, is the development of wood as~ glazes based on ash from the fireplace which I first wash and sieve. Over a dark iron-containing clay body these can give an attractive blue "chun" colour, this being a purely optical effect due entirely to absorption of other colours and not dependant on colouring oxides. Over underlying oxide slips the ash can react to give unexpected and often exciting results. With a cobalt containing slip I have been getting attractive blues, and with green slip, greens and blue-greens.

However the first pots fired for this exhibition gave a totally different and unattractive response. A month was spent carrying out exhaustive glaze tests to identify the cause which was eventually traced to the source of wood ash. From four batches only one (collected in 1995) could be used for the pots exhibited and there is now none of this left. This means that the pots are unique and unlikely to be repeated. One of the frustrations of ash glazes is their unpredictability , even with ash from the same source, but results can be very rewarding.

Sylvia Stileman was an excellent and lovely hostess and told many stories of her youth in Steeple Ashton while visiting her uncle the Vicar. Among them were her swimming in the pool of the former Stylleman residence - the pool is now a fish pond in the furthermost rear garden of the Ashton House.

Charles Stileman and Bill Stillman reviewed many genealogy related topics.

Charles Stileman has contributed much other material to the Otford Kent Stileman pages.

Robin Stillman...Margaret Stillman...Charles Stileman...Alfred Stillman...Sylvia Stileman

Charles Stileman...Alfred Stillman...Sylvia Stileman

Charles Stileman...Robin Stillman

Foreground - Robin Stillman...Charles Stileman
Background - Alfred Stillman...Sylvia Stileman
Goodbyes and plans to stay in touch

Updated 5 Jun 2003