I first discovered my love of clay whilst a teenager at school in London, but it was not until my 30s that I was able to go to the renowned Harrow School of Art, to start on my journey of becoming a professional studio potter.
I studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University followed by working as an academic researcher. My initial career was in advertising agencies in London. However, the need to make was overwhelming, and I left my job to train in ceramics, initially at Camden School of Art, where I was lucky enough to be taught by the inspirational Sudanese Ceramicist Mo Abdalla. I then embarked on my ceramics degree at Harrow.
Since 2017 I have been a member of the Rochester Square Studio in London, and it is here that I have had the space and time to fully realise my passion.
My first life drawing classes were in evening classes at The Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, but it was only recently that I started to draw again. It has since become an essential part of my work and I could no more do without it than I could stop working at my wheel.
About My Work
My work is about contradictions and contrasts. The surface of my wheel-thrown, naked raku, pots have been likened variously to eggshells or weathered beach pebbles polished by the tides. They invite touch.
The sensuality of the final work belies the process that has created them. Rough-textured clay, necessary to withstand the thermal shock of raku firing, is thrown and turned. When leather-hard, multiple layers of terra sigillata are applied to the surface of the pot and burnished. A brush with a slightly-too- long finger nail, or pottery tool, can ruin the surface.
This meticulous, patient, and highly controlled work is then subjected to violent raku firing where fire, wood and water set to work, and control is relinquished.
A further contradiction : glaze is vital to creating the finished surface, yet the finished piece has no glaze on it - it is naked of glaze, hence the term ‘naked raku’.
Each piece is entirely unique; a combination of my honed technique and the alchemy of the kiln.
You can watch my entire process in a condensed 5-minute film here :
Unlike my pots, where ‘order’ is given over to ‘chaos’, my life drawings emerge from the imposition of a controlled, accurate line onto the unrestrained and freely-applied, tonal aspect of the drawings, for which I usually use pastels and ink. The line does not trap the tone and the tone is not confined by the line. I favour quick poses by my models to capture a moment in time, an emotion, movement and light.