I have had a passion for clay since first doing pottery at school, but returned full time to clay about 20 years ago. I use hand-building techniques; slabs, coils and pinch pots to produce vessels, bowls, dishes and more recently masks, figures and wall-hangings. Although my work has similar themes, each piece is a one-off . Inspiration for my work comes mostly from natural forms such as plants, flowers and birds, but the shape of the piece is most important to me. I enjoy playing with shape and creating 3D pieces from 2D shapes, which comes from a shared love of dressmaking.
I specialise in Raku firing, a traditional Japanese technique: glaze is applied to the pot and fired outdoors in a gas kiln. When the glaze is molten, the pot is removed from the kiln and the cold air hits the glaze causing it to crackle. The piece is placed in a bin with sawdust or newspaper which makes the areas with no glaze go black and also causes colour changes in the glaze.
Raku firing is unpredictable and difficult to control which adds to the excitement of the process. I never know quite what result I am going to get until it is removed from the ashes.
More recently, I have been experimenting with black stoneware clay and decorating with slip, to produce more functional pieces. I have been using masking techniques to produce bold geometric designs to give this work a mid-century feel.
As well as making, I am an Adult Education tutor teaching Pottery evening classes twice a week at my local community school.