I was brought up ‘potting’ with my grandmother in the garden studio which my grandfather had built. Many happy hours were spent creating anything from clay animals to wheelthrown bowls and it was here where my love for ceramics was born.
The loss of my grandmother meant that I did not pot for many years but having had an early grounding in ‘playing with mud’, my love for it was never lost. I decided to take some pottery lessons with the wonderful Joy Gibbs-Price and my passion was reignited.
It was Joy who pointed out how much my work reflected the style and colours that mygrandmother had used – something which I had not realised previously. I like muted matt and satin glazes which look almost soft to touch as well as the occasional pop of colour – the turquoise that I use is one of my favourites! It was also whilst practising throwing with Joy that I made her very first ‘doughnut’ of clay. Ultimately, that doughnut ended up in the reclaim bucket after much giggling about what on earth to make it into. I left The Pottery that day determined to find something that I could use the ‘doughnut’ for and my doughnut vases were born. They’re now one of my signature pieces and I love throwing each one just as much as I did my first.
Perfection in a piece of pottery to me is a unique piece; a piece which is clearly handmade; a piece with throwing lines evident so you can see where the potter has nurtured the lump of clay into its final form; flowing glazes which intermingle in a way which is down to the magic of chemistry and which can not be exactly replicated from one piece to the next.
I now have my own studio in my garden in North Lincolnshire and from here I produce a range of functional and decorative stoneware. The doughnut vases have already been mentioned. Other pieces include soap dispensers, teaspoon and teabag pots, mugs and my most recent pieces – pots with hand-modelled birds and animals.
My creative process is a fusion of ancient traditions and contemporary innovation. It has
evolved into a harmonious blend of techniques, combining wheelthrown craftsmanship with the intimate touch of hand building.
I am drawn to the alchemy of woodfiring - the transformation that occurs within the fiery depths of the kiln, as wood ash interacts with clay and glaze, is a source of endless fascination. It is a reminder of the profound connection between the elements – earth, fire, and air. The unpredictability and uniqueness of woodfiring add an element of adventure to every piece I create.
The electric kiln, in contrast, serves as a controlled environment where I meticulously craft the foundations of my work. It allows me to experiment with glaze chemistry, pushing the boundaries of colour and texture. Crafting my own glazes has become an art form in itself, as I seek to create surfaces that complement the natural aesthetics of each piece.
The union of wheelthrown and hand-built forms is a testament to my desire for diversity in my art. The wheel offers precision and symmetry, while hand-building invites the organic and tactile. Each piece is an individual expression, a conversation between traditional craftsmanship and modern sensibility.
In my creations, you will find a celebration of the imperfections, the irregularities, and the unique stories embedded in each vessel. My work invites you to explore the intersection of tradition and innovation, the dance of fire and clay, and the harmony of functional and artistic pottery.
Through my pottery, I hope to share with you the beauty of this ancient craft and its timeless relevance in a contemporary world.