I came late to ceramics; my interest had always been books, the written word, poetry, the spoken. When I started working with clay – initially as an antidote to a stressful day job- I began to understand and develop a new visual language, one equally steeped in history, tradition, style, context, humanity.
So the exploration began.
Two strands emerged. I discovered wood-firing early on, when as a student I spent every long weekend I could in Devon, firing anagama type kilns, learning about the behaviour and mechanics of kilns, the response of clays and glazes. I made thrown domestic ware and built my kiln back home in the Clwydian hills where I could use fuel from my own small woodland augmented with free pallets from a local business. These days, still wood-firing, I’m moving from stoneware to earthenware – it’s about sustainability – using less wood and as I get older, less personal energy too.
The second strand is sculptural, for want of a better word. I’ve been making in response to the immediate experience of living in the Welsh borderlands, the deep connection I feel to the land and landscape. There’s more than a bit of R.S. Thomas in there and no doubt others too.The slow handbuilding of larger forms allows for time and consideration; new work is less representational, the surfaces more spontaneous, energetic, abstract but still carry, I hope the same narrative force.