I learned the basics of pottery some thirty years ago and took it up again more seriously ten years ago, having studied with Su Rogers in Guildford. I am now based in York where, amongst other things, I am secretary of the Friends of York Art Gallery.
I specialise in stoneware slab work and, more recently, coiling. I use a Potterycrafts own recipe, which contains a red clay from Derbyshire and buff fireclays from Shropshire.
My earlier work was functional as well as, hopefully, aesthetically pleasing. For example in 2014 I created a series of fruit trays.
In my 2015 work (for example the pieces that were shown at the Kunsthuis Gallery, Crayke, North Yorkshire, in November and December 2015) I related tall slab-built vessels to one another, displaying them as duos and trios.
In 2016 I developed a series of curved platters with a square base, exhibited at the Christmas show of the Kunsthuis Gallery.
In my latest work, 2017 onwards, I have turned to the ancient skill of coiling to create sculptural pieces. These were exhibited at the annual ceramics exhibition of the Kunsthuis Gallery in 2017 and in October 2018 were shown at the Craft Potters’ Association ceramics fair in the Hospiteum, Museum Gardens, York. In September 2019 my work will be shown at the Morten Gallery, Bridlington.
Inspired by the still life painting of Bologna-born artist Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), these sculptural pieces are designed to be displayed together, ideally as trios.
Each vessel, around 33 cms high, is finished with coloured slip in a narrow range of earth colours: grey, charcoal, cream and spice. These are pared-down forms, possibly reflecting the human body, although they are not age or gender-specific: they expand from a narrow base and back into a waist before moving out again and then back to a small round opening, finished at an angle of about 15 degrees. Despite their identical and very basic beginnings – essentially a pinch pot – each takes on a life of its own and thus has a unique form. They look similar but they are not – as in a family.
I work on a number of pieces at a time, adding one or two coils every few days. This method means that the developing piece can settle and firm, allowing for its form to be shaped in a controlled way. It also means that the pieces take a long time to come to fruition – typically around six weeks from start to finish. Usually I make about twenty-five pieces a year. This is Slow Pottery!
In the Gallery there are several photos but here are some examples. Images by Carol Clarke.
All proceeds from sales of my work go to IDAS, the North Yorkshire charity that supports those affected by domestic violence.