My journey with clay began at an evening class at a local college in 1997. Since then my love of clay has grown and I have completed various ceramic college courses and workshops around the country including at Wobage, Ruardean Garden and Riddings Pottery.
I mostly use stoneware clay and I have experimented with hand building and slip casting but my main love is throwing forms on the wheel. My work is mainly raku or smoke fired, although I occasionally produce functional glazed ware. My inspiration comes from form, often organic and sculptural and also inspired from the practice of life drawing. I love getting my hands dirty and I am happiest when elbow deep in clay. The process of making and the balance between controlling and pushing the clay to its limits, the refining and then seeing the exciting and sometimes unexpected results of a firing is exhilarating. Over the years I have met some amazing and inspiring potters & teachers and it is always wonderful to spend time with like minded people to share and enthuse over the endless possibilities of working with clay.
Horsehair and resist slip and glaze raku is known as naked raku. Naked because there is no glaze, the shine is from a very fine slip painted on to the dry pot before the bisque firing and then polished to a sheen. The slip is known as Terra Sigillata and was used by the Ancient Romans.
In horsehair raku the pots are heated up in a raku kiln and pulled out almost red hot. Horsehair, feathers and sugar are then carefully placed on the pots which instantly ignite to leave a carbon imprint and smoke marks on the pot.
Resist slip and glaze is a process of marking the pots by smoke. Starting as white clay a slip is painted on to the pot and then a glaze. The pots are heated to 900C, removed and placed into a bin of combustibles which instantly burn. Smoke is absorbed by the pot turning black except where the glaze was added as the glaze resists the smoke leaving parts of the pot white. The slip and glaze are scrubbed way. In both techniques to finish a wax is applied to enhance the shine.