Research underpins my practice but the choice of clay body, glaze and firing temperatures is also an integral part of what I do. Many months of clay body and glaze experiments are done to achieve the colour, durability and surface of these latest towers.
Photo by Dewi Tannant Lloyd
Inspiration can come from almost anywhere, from a casual event on the street to research into the depths of art history.
Most of my recent inspiration has come from visits to Europe, seeing Goya’s black paintings in the Prada, Madrid for the first time, walking the Coulée Verte René-Dumont in Paris, shopping in the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria in Barcelona and spending thoughtful time immersed in Eisenman’s Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
Modernist and Brutalist concrete architecture of many European cities is a constant source of inspiration as is the photographic typologies of Bernd and Hilla Becher, the food related work of Catalan artist Antoni Miralda as well as a wide range of works by ceramic artists such as Hans Coper, Betty Woodman, Julian Stair and Kazimir Malevich, to name just a few.
Recently viewed work by the French photographers Mame Diarra Niang and Laurent Kronental, as well as Carl Kleiner’s photography for the IKEA cookbook titled ‘Homemade is Best’ are the latest inspirational work viewed.
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I love the diversity of the material that is clay. There is such a huge range of outcomes that are possible from ceramic processes, from industrial and engineering uses, architectural and structural, sculptural and domestic, even medicinal.
Clay has unique physical properties enabling throwing, casting, stretching, rolling, et cetera. A material that will hold any shape but has little or no value in its raw form until it is fired, becoming a permanent substance.
I thrive on the ceramic processes that are involved in developing an initial idea through to a completed artefact, revelling in all of the technical challenges that occur in the making and firing elements.
I have always enjoyed juggling with the balance between form and function and engaging in the necessary decision-making in achieving that balance, deciding on what clay body what techniques, what processes, what glazes, what kiln temperatures and how to display?