2017 – Present: Seaside Saggars

Lidded rocks pottery made to look like rocks that have been split open
After the death of a mentor, I decided I wanted a real change from what I was doing in ceramics, so I continued with the idea of wonky pots but I wanted to fire them differently, with actual fire. And there was only one way I could think of doing this as I had no money to build a new kiln, using a saggar. A saggar is a large protective vessel made of clay that protects the kiln from the damaging effects of burning things inside of it. The work is made by sealing ceramics, seashells and combustible material inside the saggar. The saggar lasts around a dozen firings before it cracks and crazes 
My seaside saggar firings involve the seaside much more than my other work, as it means I have to go to the beach and find the materials I use in the firing. I enjoy this time walking on the beach collecting the shells, the seaweed and various pieces of wood I find.

This work is experimental and no two pieces will ever be the same as there is so much variation in the materials I use, the moisture content of the combustibles, the size and shape of the sea shells that I use so the pots don’t get stuck together.

2014 – 2017 Wonky Pots

Pottery with bold marks on the surface

2017 Wavewave

Waveware is a development from my original university work, instead of a single splash of colour. It was also inspired by talking to Michael Kline a potter from North Carolina who has the most amazing brushwork. I sat there for a week filling two sketchbooks with a brush and a pot of ink just playing about with mark making until I discovered my own voice in mark making having explored various different seaside patterns. The repeating mark I use is reminiscent of the ripple marks the sea makes on the sand as the tide goes out forming hills and valleys of sand.

2016 Shipware

drawings of boats craved onto sushi platters
A development of “By the Seaside”
Growing up looking out to sea I would watch the boats come in and out of the harbour, at high tide they would make the waters rise on the beach as they went down the channel. As an adult there were far less boats travelling the channel, so what there were I started drawing. I travelled the country for various events and inadvertently I always ended up at the harbour photographing and  drawing the fishing boats, recording my GPS position and the boat’s registration number. 

I decided I wanted to draw these objects onto the ceramics and make functional work that had these things that were becoming relics of the past.

2012 By the Seaside

boats and buildings carved on pots that are covered in white clay with red clay showing through the drawings.
Created in 2012 with a second son on the way I found myself drawing daily while my eldest son was at playgroup I would go out and photograph local buildings and draw them. Then once home I would draw them again using my sketches and photographs as reference.

I wanted to use my new found drawing skills on my pottery so I started coating red clays in white liquid clay (slip). I would then carve drawings through the slip so there was a real visual sense depth in the drawings, that was tactile as you held the tableware in your hands.

This work was exhibited both at solo and group shows in the summer of 2012, the idea is that a pattern or drawing would only be used for a single run of pottery so further work would be developed with new drawings of different buildings and places locally.

2009 – 2012 Splashware

Splashware was originally created whilst I was studying my degree in ceramics, it was looking at a bold splashes of colour on the pottery. These splashes were inspired by the force and energy of waves crashing on the beach. These big bold confident marks were decorated on big platters, cups and bowls.