My work is inspired by observing the natural world. I am interested in the shifting boundaries of land, water and sky, particularly as climate change threatens these borderlines making them more volatile. I make drawings out in the landscape and develop these in my studio. The drawings provide the starting point for my pots, both in form and surface texture. The contemplative process of hand-building strengthens interaction with each unique developing form. Surface attributes of the pot evolve, both during building and in the elemental process of smoking or raku firing.
The clay body I use is a mixture of white St Thomas and craft crank, designed to withstand the powerful thermal shocks involved in the firing process. The forms are modelled using pinching and coiling techniques. After bisque firing to approximately 1000°C – or slightly less if a burnished surface is to be retained – raku glazes can be applied before a second firing. The raku firing also reaches about 1000°C when the pots are removed from the red-hot kiln with the aid of tongs and smothered with sawdust or other flammable organic material in a metal bath. This has a reducing effect on both the clay body and glaze. Whilst still hot the pots are plunged into cold water, producing crackle effects in the glaze.
I initially specialised in drawing and printmaking during my degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. My interest in clay began when I met ceramic artist Ursula Ströh-Rubens whilst studying for a post-graduate teaching certificate at Goldsmiths’ College, London. I now live and work in Cambridge, devoting as much time as possible to developing my graphic and ceramic work.
I undertake commissions.