Throwing pots and firing with wood is like playing with mud and fire. The energy and life of this inspires me. Added to this is a fascination with geological nature, the sensation of touch, soul, aging industrial architecture; and the contrasts, similarities and relationships between all these things.
I aim to make pots that are enjoyable to hold and use, that make you want to hold them. Many are made with food and drink in mind, to encourage enjoyment in their preparation and consumption. They are pots to live with and use every day. I am happy when I see people impulsively handle my pots exploring them with fingers and eyes together, like children finding something special such as a pebble on a beach.
I am dedicated to woodfiring through a love of creative effects of flame and a commitment to renewable fuel. It requires total involvement, which is exhausting but fulfilling. It is a fascinating and beautiful process. The kiln is derived from traditional Japanese Anagama kilns, where the flames hit the pots directly. Ash settles on the pots melting to form fluid glass while the flame burns traces of its path onto the clay. I use no colouring oxides, but just the most basic and harmless of materials. The range of effects and colours is produced purely by ash and flame. Each pot is unique.
My kiln is unusual, designed to be as efficient as possible whilst still achieving the effects of woodfiring. Its flues return underneath the floor to chimneys near the front, getting more heat out of the flames before they exit the kiln. Anagama kilns are often fired for in excess of three days. I fire to 1340 °C in just 25-30 hours, producing individual results from a vastly reduced amount of wood.The fuel is waste wood: off-cuts from sawmills supplied from properly managed sustainable sources
Currently developing a new clay body incorporating some clay dug near the kiln. Also developing some new glazes for the insides of pots using this clay and improving my current shino type glaze.
I set up my first workshop (in Pembrokeshire, Wales) in October 2001, after finishing a Ceramics Degree at the University of Westminster, Harrow. In August 2003 I moved to my second workshop (in Somerset) with John Mackenzie. In October 2004 I moved to London, with a studio at Whirled Arts in Brixton, transporting my pots down to fire in the kiln in Somerset.
In spring 2006 I built a new kiln near Dorking in Surrey, a much smaller and more sensible distance away from London! The last pots I made at Whirled Arts went into the first firing of this kiln. Finally in August 2006 I moved to the Chocolate Factory N16 studios in Stoke Newington, where I am now making my new and extended range of pots.
In winter 2002-2003 I was involved in a collaborative project with three other Westminster graduates, to provide a ceramic wall piece for the Marylebone campus of the University of Westminster. Flock (pictured below) consists of 4000 component pieces covering a 37 square metre wall. Flock is installed in the central thoroughfare courtyard of the campus, and is percieved differently from each direction. More Images of the piece and of its installation can be seen here.
I also work as a professional massage therapist, and find that years of working with clay have prepared me well for it! I believe that the healing and stimulating properties of touch that guide my clay work are also essential to the effectiveness of a good massage.
Please click here to download my CV in acrobat pdf format.
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