I work from home in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK and exhibit at galleries around the area as well as at craft fairs throughout the UK and internationally. I am a member of Bucks Pottery and Sculpture Society.
Studio pottery, tableware and figurative sculptures are made in stoneware clay and high fired (1240-1280 C) in an electric kiln. My mugs are all hand thrown and are safe for dishwasher and microwave use.
The sculptures are frost proof and can be kept indoors or out in the garden. The glazes are often poured and so the colours combine in different ways during the firing creating exciting effects and textures. Each piece is unique.
Raku is an ancient firing technique. The word is Japanese in origin and can be loosely translated as “enjoyment”. The pieces are bisque fired (the initial firing in an electric kiln) and then glazed. They are next placed in another kiln outside, which is fired using Calor gas up to 1000 C. They are removed from the kiln at that temperature and allowed to cool a little, during which time the glazes crackle. The pieces are next placed in tubs of sawdust and the flames and smoke penetrate the crackles. The resulting effects are unpredictable and can be amazing! Nothing is ever the same twice so each piece is unique.
Since 2013, I have been collaborating with Richard Ballantyne. The work is mainly sculptural animals, which are Raku fired.
To start with a basic enclosed shape is made on the wheel. They are then manipulated and sculpted to create each animal – some more grumpy than others. We are both fully involved in throwing, sculpting, glazing and firing the work. Some combine an equal amount of work while others have more input by one or other of us.
Some of the sculpture is figurative and has been fired to higher temperatures to enable garden display. Again, each piece is unique and a collaborative effort from the original idea to the sculpture on the plinth.
The creative buzz of planning the next work and the pleasure of working alongside an artist with different ideas, accepting constructive critique, has been very productive. Pieces have been exhibited internationally, eg both Brussels and Battersea (London) Affordable Art Fairs, as well as many local galleries and exhibitions.
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