I have always loved learning how to create things. As a child I was forever painting, drawing and making objects of ‘art’ so I guess it was inevitable that I’d eventually end up as an artist of some sort.
My creative education started with probably the best foundation art and design course in the world at Rugby Art College – three days a week for two years studying just about every medium available – pure bliss!
This led me to a Fine Product BA Hons at Coventry University specialising in ceramics and jewellery and later an MA at Plymouth College of Art and I was sure that I was destined to become the next Grayson Perry!
However, life is rarely that simple and realising that Plymouth was woefully short of available artist studios I decided that I would do something to address this. So I embarked on a dauntingly huge project to raise £4m and develop a Grade I listed building in Plymouths Royal William Yard into a gallery, artist studios and specialist workshops.
Fast forward 8 years to 2017 and the time had come for a radical life change. I made the difficult decision to step out of corporate life, go back to my first love and become a full-time designer maker, specialising in ceramics.
I won’t pretend that the last year has been easy in many ways. The technical learning curve to regain my skills has been steep and often frustrating. Ceramics isn’t simply a matter of ‘making a nice pot’! It’s actually very scientific which is not something most artists, myself included, excel at! I think I will always find the moment when I am about to shut the door on a fully loaded kiln of work terrifying – the moment I press the ‘start’ button the destiny of my ‘clay babies’ is quite literally in the hands of the kiln God!
I split my time between my riverside studio at the Flameworks Creative Arts Facility in Plymouth which I share with a rich and varied array of talented artists and makers and garden ‘kiln room’ where I smoke fire my work in my hand-built kiln adding seaweed and shells from local beaches and used coffee grounds from our local branch of Waitrose!
My work is influenced by my interest in surface, texture and form. In particular surfaces created by erosion, rust and fire. My work is further informed by my fascination with learning and process which is ‘both a curse and a blessing’ as I continuously have to stop myself from learning ‘just one more technique’!
Whether it is a tiny porcelain bowl, a set of bespoke dinner plates or a sculptural torso no two pieces will ever be exactly the same.