I make work in both stoneware and porcelain, richly decorated using a range of motifs distilled from the observation of the natural world. Surfaces are built up with layers of glazes and oxides and further additions of gold or platinum lustre.
I am fortunate in these unprecedented times to be able to continue to work from my home studio, and those of you who have visited Kindar Mill during previous Spring Fling weekends will know of the importance placed on the house/garden/studio environment in the production of my work.
I am currently developing new work using both porcelain and a dark-burning clay body. While this is not a significant departure from the type of decorative work I normally produce it does allow more extreme depth and intensity within the colour palette of glazes and oxides.
Porcelain, whilst a more demanding material for wheel-throwing, due to its lack of plasticity, is nevertheless rewarding in that it produces glazes with freshness, clarity and liquidity, in particular the celadon glazes which, historically, have been highly prized for their range of blue/greens on porcelaneous clay bodies.
Dark burning clay bodies produce a different aesthetic and vocabulary of colour, particularly at high temperatures in the reducing atmosphere of a gas or wood-fired kiln. Here we are likely to see the iron content of the clay deepening our glazes, often producing the iron spots which became ubiquitous in studio pottery from the middle of the 20th century. However, the judicious use of white slip under the glaze surface can allow brighter colours to complement a more restrained palette.
As always, forms develop alongside the painted surfaces – the interplay between the two a constant puzzle to be resolved.