I was born in Poole, Dorset in 1960 and attended art
foundation course at Bournemouth College in 1978. I had intended to study
graphic design, but found myself more intrigued by the possibilities of working
with clay and so ended up enrolling in a course in environmental ceramics at
Bournemouth. After a valuable year under the instruction of Peter Studley I transferred to Harrow College. In 1982 I gained an
HND in Studio Pottery from Harrow.
After college I worked for the slipware potter Mary
Wondrausch at Compton in Surrey, gaining experience in throwing and slipware
decoration. As a self-employed potter in Guildford I produced a range of
earthenware pots decorated with slips and under glazes. The making of my own
pots was for some years combined with teaching and technician work in adult
I came to Devon from Guildford in 1999, intending to
spend a year working at Dartington pottery to gain experience in reduction-fired
stoneware, production throwing and a variety of other making processes. The year
turned into two and a half, after which I left to again pursue a career as a
self-employed potter. In 2002 I set up my own workshop at Coombe Park near
My work has always been based on throwing, which I enjoy
for its immediacy and rhythmic processes. I like forms that are strong and
definite, simple shapes with harmonious relationships between their parts.
Colour and pattern are long standing interests. With the decoration I aim to
reflect something of the movement of the throwing process and explore and
enhance the form. The decoration is usually abstract but may suggest sea or sky,
mostly it is about movement and energy.
I have found that oxidised stoneware best suits my
expressive style, my aim being to combine the decorative freedom of low
temperature ceramics with the depth and texture of stoneware glazes. Also
oxidised stoneware provides the perfect medium for exploring the balance between
chance and the control of known elements in the design process.
The process of exploring and developing new glazes and
designs is a fascinating mixture of creativity and science. It is a complex
process, requiring both experimentation and close observations over time.
Research and development is a continuous process, so new designs and glazes
evolve alongside the regular production.