"Ione Peries was a student at Stoke on Trent College of Art studied on the Diploma in Art and Design course DipAD, as it was known, specializing in ceramic design. She was one of seventeen students offered places in 1967; the course was based at the Lightwood Institute above Longton Library in Lightwood Road.
Ione arrived from Sri Lanka a year before to attend the pre-diploma course at the Burslem campus of Stoke College of A & D.
Ione was a mature student at 29 considerably older than most other students on the course, I was 20 most of the cohort were 19.
Ione was popular, she was friendly but had a strong character and personality, and she was the mother figure. Halls of residence for students studying at the School of Art were unknown in those days some local students lived at home but the rest of us lived in bedsits in and around Longton. Obtained through the accommodation columns of the Evening Sentinel
Our social life in the main revolved around meeting our friends, entertaining in our bedsit that were often part of a large house, Ione had a room on the first floor of a house in Lightwood road, very close to the Institute.
Ione’s work was based around hand building techniques, she like the rest of the cohort took part in a project taught by the distinguished studio potter Geoffrey Whiting, we had to make the items Mr. Whiting made in his pottery and aim to produce the same daily quantities, I remember that 100 mugs was just about acceptable for a days work, unfortunately this approach put quite a number of the group off the idea of using throwing as a method of making. I do not remember Ione’s reaction to this project, certainly throwing was not her method of choice, she preferred a slower more contemplative way of forming, pieces of clay initially pressed over a plaster hump mould and then worked on with scrapers and other tools until she attained the desired shape, She had a strong interest in surface decoration, she used very subtle designs that acknowledged her origins in another culture. She enjoyed using the contrasting the quality of the clay body, usually stoneware with areas of matt and semi matt glaze, overlaying simple linear designs scratched through metallic oxides.
Soon after completing the course Ione married the renowned local artist Enos Lovatt.I last saw Ione when I dined with them both shortly before the birth of their daughter in the early 1970’s."
Written by fellow student at The Burslem School of Art in 2017.