I make a variety of ceramic work, including sculptural and decorative pieces as well as functional domestic ware and a range of buttons.
I typically hand build my work incorporating a range of techniques including slab building, slip casting and sprigging and use a variety of clays from earthenware to porcelain depending on the objectives of a piece of work. Decoration can be pared back allowing the surface of the clay to speak for itself or is often build up in layers using underglaze colours, glazes, decals and lustres.
I have an HNC in 3D Design:Ceramics from Richmond Art School and a professional background in journalism and public relations.
A lot of my work is conceptual addressing social and economic problems and division as well as personal issues of identity and belonging. I draw on in-depth research to create a coherent narrative for my pieces that often reflects my interest in the news, media and the changing nature of influence in society.
Sources of inspiration
I am influenced by artists in many disciplines from ceramics to textiles and am particularly drawn to pieces that tell a story when I look at or handle them. For example, the work of Sophie Favre, Beverley Bell Hughes or Frank James Fisher. I aspire to achieve this in my own work encouraging the viewer to think about a subject or provoke discussion. This could be on a societal topic such as the changing nature of news today or more personal like the importance of place and memory to wellbeing.
On reflection I was surprised that some of my sculptural pieces were quite personal to me. I worked in the media as a journalist and PR professional for 30 years and I have not been able to let go of the interest in news, the media and its role in society.
The fact that I need a personal interest at the core of my work has prompted me to think of other sources of inspiration that are significant to me: friendship, family photos, memories, childhood toys, favourite clothes and sentimental objects I refuse to part with. Other interests including textiles, jewellery, graphics, patterns, and even F1 racing, may also be sources for inspiration if I can analyse what it is that draws me to them.
Looking forward my goal is to have a small business selling my work. This presents a few challenges. I do not see myself wholly as an artist making one-off sculptural or installation pieces. And I like the idea of people viewing, handling and using my work. Which means I need to find new inspiration, revisit small batch production, and keep practising and refining the forms so that I can streamline the making process and easily reproduce it. What the forms may be remains to be discovered. So my goal for this coming year is to approach each project with this challenge in mind. I’d like to be more experimental particularly in terms of materials and glazes and more spontaneous.