Much of my work focuses on surface decoration, collage and juxtaposition. The vessel is a starting point for exploration of shape, and an interest in the sense of repair and assemblage has informed my method of construction over several years. The result is multi-faceted pots, rich in movement, energy and aesthetic value.
Current research into 18th century tea caddies is adding another dimension to my forms, in particular inspiring an oval shape yet still encompassing several individual panels. Other references include dressmaking patterns and text, maps, boats; and my colour palette draws inspiration from the clouds and the landscape.
I find that drawing and painting is integral to the development of the surface treatment of my pots. Layers of decorating slips are applied to build up the surface and create a depth that holds similarities to misty skies, or walks across the hills, which in turn allows the pots to create a sense of place – sometimes this can be a memory of a walk or a view across the sea. With each piece of clay I like to be able to weave the surface pattern in, around, out and through – to explore the space and composition much like a painting. This is worked alongside more controlled sgraffito techniques, sometimes in order to ‘contain’ the painted surface, and other times to continue it.
Pots are handbuilt using predominantly a white earthenware body treated to layers of slip, underglaze, glaze, and occasionally transfer and lustre. Glazes are used to enhance and add another level of tone, or to enrich the texture of isolated areas. Pieces often go through multiple firings and as each is individual, the process of building up the surface varies accordingly.