I am an artist/maker based in West Wales.
I have a background in fine art, specializing in printmaking and photography during my BA at University for the Creative Arts, but the majority of work I now produce is ceramic and functional.
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.
I take inspiration from the landscape around my home on the North Pembrokeshire coast: the sea-worn stone of the cliffs and beaches, the soft green woodlands, the starkness of the Preseli hills, and even the soft rain which never stays away for more than a few days at a time.
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 delight decided she was willing to take me on despite my 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.
I am now working from my own small studio in Pembrokeshire and am busy making my pots in the quiet greenness of the garden.