Tell us a little bit about your background?
I studied ceramics at the Glasgow School of Art, which included spending some time in Australia working with a wood firing potter. He taught me a good work ethic and how to enjoy the time that leads up to and beyond wood-firing, and I also learnt to watch kilns, rather than relying on data and script. On moving back to Northumberland, I worked as a high production garden pottery thrower, in one of the few commercial salt-glazed kilns in the country. I then decided to set up in business producing my own domestic stoneware ceramics and haven’t looked back.
What inspires your work?
Working in Australia drew me to using the raw mineral ingredients used in aboriginal art work, so that subtle ochre tones and vibrant reds were very often used in my earlier hand-built pieces. More recently, I draw inspiration from many angles; erosive forces, growth in natural, organic forms and architecture. I am also inspired by oriental work because of my attraction to crisp design and function within beautifully finished pieces.
How do you develop your ideas?
Development of an idea happens fundamentally within the function and frequency of use of a particular object; a grand platter or charger may happily occupy a constant position in somebodys home, whereas a favourite mug or salt pot must be comfortable to hold and easy to use, and moreover durable.
What is it about your creative practice you enjoy the most?
Opening the kiln is always an exciting moment; finding unexpected results is very interesting as they often go onto influence future designs and glazes.
Do you face any challenges in producing your art?
Getting wood dry through the latter, soggy months of the year and getting the kiln to temperature after many hours wood-firing!
Do you have anything new and exciting planned for your work?
A lot of ceramic shows and events, as well as a gradual progression towards some more sculptural pieces on a larger scale.