About my ceramics

Most of the pots I like to make are tableware: mugs, bowls, plates, teapots, jugs and others. They are inspired by the function of the pot and by the decoration I apply to them. Because the glazes I like to use are very fluid, they fire to different colours so the pots I unpack from the kiln are to that extent unpredictable, which I like. Increasingly, I enjoy experimenting with different forms of decoration - underglazes, glazes, decorating glazes, and precious metal and coloured lustres. I like to have fun with the decoration of my pots and my overall style can be described as 'cheery'. The fluid glazes and reduction firing mean that the colours are not uniform and often vary considerably from pot to pot. Often it is the subtle change in the colour of a glaze as it makes its way round a pot which is the real delight.

ranges of designs
Clay and making

I throw all my pots on an electric wheel. After throwing, some pots are then altered in one way or another. Heart shaped dishes are formed while on the wheel, oval dishes once the pots are 'leather hard' and animals and other shapes are also sculpted on at the leather hard stage.

Glazes and decorating colours

All my pots are glazed before the pot is fired at all. This is known as "raw glazing". Raw glazing has the advantage of economy of firings but the disadvantage that the pots are much more vulnerable at the glazing stage and there are some problems that only show up in the firing, however it's the way I've always worked, and wouldn't want to do it any other way. I add colour using a variety of techniques and materials which not only have their own range of colours but are very different in consistency and therefore method of application and I tend to mix and match throughout the range of pots that I make.

Lustres

Lustres are added as an optional extra stage. I use a wide range of precious metal lustres and coloured lustres. The lustre, comes in a viscous liquid which is painted onto the fired pot. The pot is then fired again to about 780deg C and the liquid is burned off, leaving a very thin layer of metal or colour behind. This is, as children like to put it, "actual gold"! (or platinum, copper, etc). It's expensive to buy so I usually use it sparingly, but you will find the occasional animal painted in solid metal lustre.

Firing

I fire by bottled gas using a reduction firing. You'll see the result of this as speckles in the glaze and it also alters the actual colours of the glazes or decorating colours. The pots are fired to either 1260deg C or 1300deg C so are well vitrified and therefore normally impervious to water even when unglazed.