I have been making pots for over thirty years in my studio situated in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. I live more or less in the country but am only one hour’s drive from Sydney and two hours’ drive from Canberra…placed right in the middle of forested highlands country. I like living in the country. I gives me the space and quiet to delve into my imagination and resolve, to explore and develop the ceramic expression I am searching for.
My ceramic training was taken under an apprenticeship system and took four years, working in several potteries in Australia, England and in France. I feel this practically based training filters my current practice. I use traditional techniques, but not as an end but rather as a springboard for my personal expression. I have a large studio, with two electric kilns and one gas kiln.
I have always worked in earthenware. I love the expressive nature of the lower firing range, and the way it can capture the rawness of pot making and decoration. I use two traditional ceramic techniques, combining slipware and reduced lustre. I use slips, specific glazes and metallic pigments to create these effects.
I find the two techniques complement each other. The slipware is playful to work with, and I use it to explore shape and form. I make a range of tableware this way. Some of the pieces are then taken onto a third firing, for reduced lustre decoration. This technique is much trickier to handle and suits more restrained pieces……but becomes magical when the alchemy of lustre works. The lustre also allows me to explore brushwork, revealing the energy and rawness of every stroke.
To sum up what I am hoping to express, I would say my work springs out my traditional training but moves beyond this to capture the tension between emptiness and line, restraint and movement using the expressive qualities of brushwork on slip and pigment on glaze.