My work is made of clay, fired to a high stoneware temperature. The making process is an important cycle. Clay, which was once rock, worn by weather and time is combined with water, air and then fire. The resulting object is then returned onto the earth. These forms are very obviously relevant to rocks, stones and pebbles and this is because all are part of the erosion cycle that enables me to work with clay.
Stoneware, when built both with, and for strength is a fabulous medium for exterior work. Strong and durable, its hard surfaces can bear witness to the ever-changing environment. It will also contain the marks of its maker, reminding a viewer that the stone-like material was once wet and malleable, and a medium, which can be continually considered and manipulated until it is complete.
I work by hand wedging clay, to remove air, and then gradually coil clay to create these forms. This is an age old technique, and I enjoy its use in creating work that is utterly contemporary.
Works are coloured with slip which is made from watered down clay and therefore fuses into the body of a piece and becomes integrated, rather than sitting as a separate layer on the surface. Slips are coloured with raw oxides which are extracted from the earth.
Slip is sponged, painted or inlaid into a surface. I sometimes make stamps, which represent specific details of an environment and press them into a surface and then apply colour into the depression. I often use sgraffito to bring back the original body and allow it to exist alongside the new surface colour.
Pieces are fired to high stoneware temperatures causing the clay to vitrify, therefore becoming durable and frost proof. Small dimples within the surface allow nature in the form of Lichens and moss, to exist with the pieces and slowly alter surfaces. If this is not desired, the surface can simply be scrubbed clean.