Online Talk – 3rd Aug 2021, 7pm – 8.30pm
“The Peak District Pennine landscape and seasons are the backdrop to everything I do. In essence I make wood-fired pottery on the border between function and sculpture, adapting pieces, clays and glazes with materials ‘won’ in the landscape; I’m interested in prehistoric, early English and Japanese forms and techniques and while I’m inspired by a sculptural approach, I’m making bowls, cups, vases and bottles.
Much of my work is multiple fired; to develop depth and layering, I think there’s an interesting mix to be had between woodfiring, electric and lustre work. I throw and adapt, coil and slab build often on the same piece. Most work is fired initially to stoneware with a wood kiln (the kiln design is based on John Thies’ Manabigama, and fires to 1250 degrees in around 12 hours); some pieces see the woodkiln 2 or 3 times, I use an electric kiln for colour and lustre work… this is all probably a very roundabout way of doing it, but it works for me! I use a basic “shino”, sometimes tinted with oxides and shop bought colours. I also use oribe based glazes that range from pale green to black. Clay is stoneware and various mixes of a strong light raku, chunky black and a red that bloats “really nicely!”.
I also make films and have done professionally for 20 years. The presentation of my work is extremely important, and incorporating this skill has been liberating and endlessly inspiring to me.
My hope is that the work is playful, sometimes jarring, has the capacity to surprise and delight, and has some resonance between their materiality and the landscape from which they derive.
I’[[ show people round the studio and talk briefly about how I’ve ‘gone professional’ in the past few years, how the lockdown has cemented this and how I use social media to market myself. I’ll then do a demo of how I make a vase or bottle. After questions I’ll finish with a flower arrangement.”
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