Jane Hamlyn was born in 1940 in Whitechapel, London and is a respected maker best known for her functional salt glaze pottery. When salt is thrown into a hot kiln the sodium vapour comes into contact with the particles of silica on the surface of the clay pots and melts them, forming a glaze i.e. the skin of the pot itself becomes the glaze. This is different from other types of glazes, which are an added layer covering the surface of the pot. Thus salt glazing has the potential to reveal the form rather than to mask it. Salt glazed surfaces can be infinitely varied by adjusting the alumina/silica ratios of both the clay body and the slips which are applied to it.
She initially trained as a nurse at University College HospitalL She studied pottery part-time at Putney Adult Education Centre, before attending Harrow School of Art (1972-1974) where she was taught by Michael Casson In 1975 she set up Millfield Pottery Workshop near Doncaster.
Jane is credited with discovering the green colour that arises when painting a titanium wash over a blue slip and in 1999 she was awarded the European Saltglaze Prize. Along with Walter Keeler, she is considered a pioneer of the salt glaze revival.
Jane is a Fellow and former chair of the Craft Potters Association. She has exhibited widely and her work is displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in the Crafts Council Permanent Collection and the William Alfred Ismay ceramics collection, York Art Gallery.