I first decided to experiment with using coarse black clay, following a visit to the home and studio of Miwa Kyusetsu X1, in Hagi, Japan in 1999. Miwa was a national living treasure so it was an extraordinary privilege to sit in his tea room and be shown three of his Chawan. I was struck by the beautiful snow-like whiteness of the shino glaze combined with dark, blackened bare patches on the body of the clay and enjoyed the harmony he had created between these contrasting materials.
When I returned home I began working with black clay, adapting and adjusting the body to suit my way of working. I have used that clay ever since and my current body of work involves combining this coarse gritty, dark material with the beautiful qualities of thick unctuous porcelain slip.