I have been making ceramics for five years, but have been fascinated by them for much, much longer. I have vivid memories from my childhood holidays of watching Tony Markes at his wheel in the Tenby Pottery, but it took me more than 40 years to try it for myself. I have however been a passionate collector for many years, my main inspiration coming from two friends who had built up an astonishing collection of work by Lucie Rie, Gordon Baldwin, Elizabeth Fritsch and many others.
In 2000 my partner and I opened a gallery in France selling ceramics by British potters (Sutton Taylor, Chris Carter and Kyra Cane, via a link with the Hart Gallery) and French potters including Gisele Buthod-Garçon, Jean-Pierre Thomas, Marie-Laure Levitan and Denise Millet. It was during this period that I became passionate about raku in all its varied forms and when I started throwing pots in 2010 I gravitated towards this as my preferred technique for secondary firings. I discovered many of the techniques used in my recent work during courses with alternative raku guru John Evans, and wrote an article for Craft and Design Magazine about his courses in 2011 (click here to read the article).
The vast majority of my work is wheel-thrown grogged stoneware and I concentrate on simple forms, allowing the effects of the various raku processes – smoke marks, chemical fuming, crackle glazes and lustres – to come to the fore. More recently I have been experimenting with glazed pieces and porcelain. For more information about the methods I use, see Techniques.
In my day job I am Artistic Director at Dorchester Arts and the Dorchester Festival.