The pots I make are inspired by those from the ancient Japanese kilns of Bizen and Shiguraki. They are filtered through my personal response to the processes of building with clay, combined with a modern aesthetic.
As an urban potter without access to an Anagama kiln or local mineral rich local clays, I set about finding an alternative that would give me the results I desired. Clays of natural colours which record their time in the kiln with flashes of colour and changes to their texture.
I hand build my work leaving the spontaneous mark making that comes from the process of working quickly, to capture the softness and fluidity of movement and intuitive decision making that comes from making pots on the wheel.
My work is then once fired in the big saggar or muffle which I have recently installed in the kiln, to which seaweed and seashells have been added. These I gather on my local beaches after high tides and storms have brought fresh ‘tangles’ up onto the beach. The shells are oyster shells, which have crinkly edges. These serve to prevent the pots sticking to each other. Whitstable where I now live and work has been famous for it’s oysters since Roman times, so their shells are always somewhere on the beach even if they take a little hunting for.
I take inspiration from the environment I find myself in. From marks made by road menders on the road outside my house, to paths worn in grass by the passage of feet - these chance made maps feed into the marks I make in clay, which build in layers to add up to a narrative whole.