My fascination with clay started when I was 4 years old, making coil pots from raw clay dug from our garden. This led to my interest in the texture and form and subsequent exploration of the various ways of working with clay.
It was years later at University in Stoke on Trent that I developed my expertise in the numerous and intricate techniques involved with successful slip casting, usually thought of as a mass production process. The satisfaction at first production of my own pieces of slip cast work convinced me that this was a process that I wanted to master, then finishing each piece to give it a unique quality.
In 2002 I Graduated from Staffordshire University with BA Honours Design Degree specialising in ceramics. I then set up my Ceramics Studio in Reading from where I now produce handmade ceramics from original designs through to finished products.
Slip Casting Process
Based on my designs, I first make an original in plaster from which I hand make a plaster mould. The earthenware pieces are then cast in these moulds for approximately six to nine minutes giving them a delicate quality.
During the subsequent hand finishing I consider how to give each piece of work its individuality, be it with holes, resin or decals to add subtle changes or distinguishing features, so that each item may stand apart but retain the original design concept. As an example, many of my vases are pierced to create an object that is intentionally functional but at first glance may be seen as non-functional. This can be seen, where the vase contains the flower but also displays the stem that is so often unseen.
Whilst principally using ceramics, I have worked other materials into my designs, including highly polished resin and rubber as well as copper wire, decals and oxides.
Influences and developing new pieces
I am influenced by contemporary minimal design trends and experimenting with casting processes so that my work is continually developing and evolving, with functionality influencing my design. Over the past few years I have introduced slab formed pieces that compliment my current slip cast work.
My first craft show was in 2005 at South Hill Park Arts Center in Bracknell. I caught the craft fair bug and have regularly been selling at shows since. I love meeting the people that collect my work and getting feedback.
I am an active member of Caversham Artists and organise the very popular Caversham Arts Trail that started in 2010. Caversham Artists hold regular shows throughout the year as well as the annual trail in May. Check out their website for more information.
In 2008 I launched first Reveal showcase, a show of handmade craft. See the Reveal website for further information on current and past exhibitors.