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.
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 interesting. For example in 2014 I created a series of fruit trays.
Other functional work included slab-built vases:
In 2016 I developed a series of curved platters with a square base, exhibited at the Christmas show of the Kunsthuis Gallery.
From 2017 onwards, I turned to the ancient skill of coiling, and at the same became interested in displaying my work as multiples, usually trios, thus focusing on the relationship between pieces. Trios of tall vessels 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 was shown at the Morten Gallery, Bridlington. I was accepted for the postponed 2020 Hepworth Wakefield‘s Ceramics Fair.
Inspired by the still life painting of Bologna-born artist Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), these sculptural pieces are designed to be displayed together. 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.
Planning the layout of my Craft Potters’ Association display in Tim Pearce‘s studio in Warthill, North Yorkshire:
Each vessel, around 33 cms high, is finished with coloured slip in a narrow pallet of tones: 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 opening, finished at an angle of about 15 degrees. The interiors of the vessels are in a contrasting tone of slip; I regard the interiors as almost as important as the exteriors.
A recent development has been to make similarly coiled vessels but in strata of four different clays. This is technically challenging as each clay has a slightly different shrinkage rate.
My latest pieces, developed in lockdown, are coiled, but are rounded vessels, made with inserts of different clays. These are more painterly pieces than in the past; as with some of my earlier work I think of Whistler’s Nocturne paintings and his horizontal brushstrokes when I am making these pieces. A video of this piece is available here.
All proceeds from sales of my work go to IDAS, the North Yorkshire charity that supports those affected by domestic violence.