From Earth to Table
I am fascinated by the ancient and ubiquitous process of taking raw earth and transforming it into items, both useful and/or decorative. My emphasis is on creating items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, whether it's a comfortable shape to hold or an interesting pattern to look at.
While I enjoy experimenting with colour and different ways of decorating my work, I always seem to gravitate back to blue, whether it's deep and dark, reminiscent of the sky at night, light and transparent like a tropical ocean or almost any shade in between. While my absolute favorite shade is periwinkle, I am happy playing around with the full spectrum of blues, and occasionally stretch my palette to other colors.
The significant majority of my work is thrown on a wheel (just like in that infamous scene in the movie "Ghost") and then decorated by hand. Almost everything I have created has come from the desire to make something which can be used and often the inspiration comes in the form of requests from nearest and dearest, such as a mug that can accommodate the huge quantities of tea and hot chocolate my daughters like to drink, planters for the mini jungle that is my son's flat, a pie dish to replace one my mother had and loved for years, or a berry bowl for a close friend. I delight in seeing my work in the houses of friends and family, knowing that the pieces are being used and appreciated.
Because of the practical nature of my work, I tend to keep the forms fairly simple, sticking to clean lines and minimal fuss. It is important to me that the pieces are pleasing to hold, so that does inform my thinking at every stage from giving shape to a lump of wet clay to the final glaze firing.
I'm a relative novice potter, having started about five years ago when I signed up for a beginners' pottery class at City of Oxford College. That was all it took - I was hooked! Whilst my skills have improved, I haven't stopped learning and have plenty to work on. I'm equally fascinated by the works created from clay in ancient times and contemporary pieces and am striving to find my niche in this vast arena. The fact that ceramics and pottery are all around us can be both inspiring and intimidating, so I tend to focus on what I admire, appreciate and enjoy about the skill that others being to their creations. I then think about what these works might mean for me and how I can interpret and apply them to what I do.
Pottery is a wonderful creative outlet for me and I find it almost meditative because it requires complete focus. While my studio is small and messy, it is something of a sanctuary for me as it provides an escape from the day-to-day demands of work and family and enables me to push all other distractions to one side. I'm currently working in a small room off our garage which is actually an old grain store. There is a much bigger space in the floor above me, which is ripe for conversion and may, one day, serve as a much larger studio space for me to work in. For the time being, however, I'm happy where I am.