I am happy to describe myself as either a potter or a ceramicist; either way I work with clay to produce spheres, discs, pails and bottles of various sizes, shapes, colours and finishes - all under the name of 'The Yellow Shed Pottery'.
I mostly hand-build - coiling and pinching, sometimes using purpose-made moulds, and using predominantly white earthenware clay. I occasionally use paper porcelain clay which is so much easier to use than regular porcelain for a hand-builder such as myself.
Currently my main inspirations are the ceramics of Korea and Japan - the simple lines, strong forms and subtle uses of colour. In particular the Korean Moon Jar has been a major source of inspiration over the last 5 years. In seeking a more ‘lunar’ like surface, I have burnished, used terra sigillata and smoke firing. By experimenting with partial glazing of the clay surface with blue, white and green glazes and then smoke firing the spheres I have created an ‘Earth like’ effect.
Along side the Moon and Earth Jars I also build vessels, which I call ‘Pails’, some tall, some not so tall, finishing them with handles I have made from found driftwood and sticks. They are loosely based on the Japanese Miso Baketsu or water pails. These I also smoke fire on occasion.
I have recently begun to experiment in making perfume bottles; usually made of glass, perfume bottles have always been a luxury item, so I am enjoying making these small ‘jewels’. I will always have a soft spot for making teapots.................
I sell my work through a combination of galleries (currently Leeds Craft and Design Centre, the Tig Gallery in Tighnabruaich and The Clayden gallery in Hastings) and art and craft fairs. I also sell on-line.
I am a member of the Oxfordshire Craft Guild and the West Forest Potters group. For both groups I help to organise educational and exhibition events.
In 2004 I gained a level 3 City & Guilds Diploma in Design and Craft – 3D studies. I have been teaching pottery and ceramics since 2007 and I have a level 3 qualification from City & Guilds in teaching in the lift long learning sector. My teaching experience covers the full range of ceramic practice – hand-building, throwing, glaze making, mould making and using, surface decoration and smoke firing.
And just because life isn’t busy enough I also practice and teach T’ai Chi. Although it would complete the picture nicely, I sadly don’t have a Labrador dog - however I do live in South Oxfordshire with my partner and daughter, and my studio really is yellow...