High-fired ceramic, underglaze stains & oxides
48 x 48 x 23cm
Please enquire for price.
High-fired ceramic, underglaze stains & oxides
48 x 48 x 23cm
Please enquire for price.
This piece, entitled "Weight | Lift", was inspired by my residency at Dungeness. It is a dissonant place with both great natural beauty and a difficult history of military and industrial structures which still have a complex presence there. The piece draws on the forms of the old Trinity House experimental station and combines a weighty closed form together with a lighter structure that gives a sense of lift and movement.
For me, this series of works is a deep and considered exploration of this dissonant place, attempting to work through its different elements and my responses to each before then synthesising them in some way in the finished work.
The work is hopeful on a simple level for its message that even forms of great weight can lift and move, but also on a deeper level as a modelling of 'active hope' through my technique for working with and through dissonant landscapes which are now so common and generally unresolved. This offers a process for accepting complex and contradictory meanings and using them to move forward into a more creative - and hopeful - future.
I’m unveiling some very new pieces this weekend as part of South East Open Studios
As part of the displaying process I’ve been having to think about names and stories. These works are now called as follows
Top L-R; Interlock, Flange, Weight | lift
Bottom L-R; Opening | closed, Catch
As with all my recent work they are place based, still working from my time at Dungeness for the moment although I suspect this series will go on to explore other areas.
My original photographs and drawings and memories are abstracted through a process of workings on paper; cut outs, collage, layering, and tape drawings etc.
At root, the works are inspired by my fascination with angles, proportions and chance compositions, particularly arising from utilitarian architecture such as industrial and military structures and are intended to evoke certain feelings and relationships recalled from the embodied experience of the site. This is what I am aiming to draw out in the names.
All I need now is a name for the series - perhaps Dynamics…
As the precursor to the next round of making I’ve been going back over many of the hundreds of photos I’ve taken on Dungeness in the last year.
Some of these have led on to paper-cuts - initially intended for collages but then leading in an entirely unanticipated direction. I’ll share the results with you next…
It was a 5 day masterclass so there was lots of time to see them demonstrate techniques and talk about their own processes as well as starting to develop our own processes and ideas, initially splurging out as many maquettes as possible. Inevitably, most were red herrings, but a couple proved particularly interesting. I resisted them initially out of fears that they would lead me into areas of work that are very technical and rather frustrating, but after repeated egging on I eventually rose to the challenge and developed some more worked up pieces using the same ideas.
These are now forming the starting point for a new series of sculptural works that take their starting point from the functional architecture of Dungeness.
In October I was fortunate to be able to spend 5 days in Yorkshire doing a handbuilding masterclass with Rebecca and James. It was great to be able to spend so much time playing with ideas, developing different surface treatments, making maquettes and thinking about creative processes to formulate ideas from source materials.
I came back with more confidence in my own process and giving it time to gestate, to play with components etc, a surprising new direction to explore and a car full of damp clay which is still waiting to be fired. A passing comment by Rebecca’s about ‘quality control at every stage’ also struck home as we saw them demonstrate the care they take in assembling their own work.
Here’s some pictures of the raw work. More to follow once it’s fired and finished.
This work is quite different again from the experimental Dungeness series I’ve been sharing recently and initially I was quite resistant to it because of the technical fiddliness, but both of them came by and said “ooh that’s interesting” so in the end I decided to listen to the feedback and rise to the challenge. It’s made me ponder the difference between the work we are drawn to as viewers that brings us something we’d perhaps like more of and that which we personally need to make and how to know which is which…
In this second batch of works I have been experimenting further with more graphic treatments and printing, to evoke the scattering of bold box forms in the shape of houses, sheds and shipping containers across the shingle, as well as more complex detailing in he surfaces through found materials, local slips, volcanic and matt glazes.
Inspired by my time at I have been exploring some new forms.
Building up scuffed and stained and patinated surfaces.
Developing a new palette of glaze colours and finishes that draw on my experience of the ness.
Playing with happenstance impressions of found objects and textures.
Using drop moulding and composite forms to explore the irregular growth of the cottages with all their sheds and lean-tos.
Echoing the boat rails across the shingle in added ribs on which the finished pieces stand.
It's proving really interesting to work in this new way, developing a whole new creative vocabulary and making each piece a step forward into something new. As I write the kiln is firing up with a second load of new pieces and I'm full of eager anticipation to see how they will turn out and where this journey will take me next. Watch this space!
My excitement at the arrival of spring flowers, coinciding with some reading about ikebana and Japanese flower arranging equipment, led to some experimental vessels for small flowers. The best will be coming with me to West Dean at the end of the month.
Every now and then people make special requests for new designs. A recent flurry from friends and family is approaching critical mass and looks line turning into a new kitchenware collection. Here's some early trials for storage jars and pestles & mortars. Fermentation crocks and are also on the agenda. If there's anything your kitchen particularly needs that you think would be a good addition to the collection do let me know.
Some of the pieces feature water-etched detailing which will allow me to introduce some more variation which I do enjoy.
There's lots of work still do to refining each form individually and reviewing how they sit together as a group but it's nice to see an initial peek!
Here's a selection of some of the new pieces just out of the kiln. They are now listed on the shop and available for immediate dispatch if anything takes your fancy.
I have one last small batch of pieces being glazed and fired this week. They will be available Brighton Craft this Saturday 9th and then from the shop on Monday 11th. After that there will be no more new stock until the new year so if you're thinking about getting something as a gift I'd reccomend not waiting too long.
I am at my happiest exploring new creative ideas so this is a big treat for me. In fact, in order to give myself more of this I've decided to start an occasional series of 'limited edition' pieces. These are functional pieces designed to compliment the main Feast and Simple pleasure collections, but can also stand alone. They are a space to try out new techniques and approaches etc and I look forward to seeing how people respond to them at upcoming shows.
The first two are a butterdish with a freestyle hand-cut rim and a cheeseboard with water-etched handles.
The detailing on each piece is done differently each time so that each one is individually distinct.
A maximum of 25 of each design will be made.
Here's some new pieces fresh from the kiln.
I've been busy behind the scenes making up mountains of new tableware which is destined for The Quality Chophouse. The last pieces are in the kiln as I write so they'll be shipping off at the end of the week and available in the shop soon after.
Already finished and on the shelves are dinner plates and side plates, cereal bowls and noodle bowls, plus two sizes of serving bowls, small jugs and wine cups in white and chartreuse. Still cooking are mugs, medium jugs, coffee pots and small canisters.
Here's a sneak peek at what's coming.