I am an artist/maker based in West Wales. I produce quiet, contemplative work in ceramic and print.
Print was my first specialism and the medium in which I produced most of my work whilst studying Fine Art at UCA Canterbury. I adore the texture and the quality of lines, the definiteness of the marks, scratching and blurring into the texture of the paper. The way some marks will seem to float above the surface, whilst others seem so dark and dense as to be part of the fibre itself.
In clay, it is not so different; the earthiness of the clay and slip, and the glossy, shifting veil of the glaze offer the same interplay between light and dark, rough and smooth. In both printmaking and in ceramics I am drawn to the contrast between texture and line. I am exploring how the two mediums can interact and compliment each other.
There is something hugely appealing to me in making pieces that will be used. I love that I'm creating something that someone can enjoy every time they have a cup of tea or coffee. For me, using a handmade object feels special, and adds an element of ceremony to my everyday life. I want to share this experience with other people through my work.
Working with clay
Following a move from East Anglia to the beautiful and rugged Welsh coast, I rediscovered an interest in ceramics.
Having not touched clay since school, I started looking for a way to learn how to work with it. A year of evening pottery classes later and I had realised I could never acquire the skills I wanted doing only a couple of hours a week. I wanted to learn more, but how was I possibly going to do it? There seemed to be a total absence of ceramics education short of taking another honours degree. That's when a totally unexpected opportunity presented itself. Salt glaze potter Margaret Gardiner was looking for a full time assistant/apprentice and to my surprise decided she was willing to take me on despite my (very) limited experience.
In the year that followed I learnt a huge amount, from building a good foundation of throwing technique and confidence in decorating, to learning important but basic things, like how to pack a kiln well, and how to protect your pots when travelling to shows!
Clay is a wonderful material to work with. It is so versatile and I never cease to wonder at how it can transform; from something flowing, almost fluid in quality, when thrown, to a firm leathery material that can be worked, beaten, reshaped, carved, cut and textured, before undergoing its final stony transformation in the heat of the kiln.
Two years later and I have set up my own small studio in Pembrokeshire and am busy making my pots in the quiet greeness of the garden.