I am and always have been a maker at heart.
I was born and raised in the Lake District and although I happily call Loughborough my home, the Lake District and my memories of living there continue to have an influence on my work.
Another influence is Mick Casson, I saw his TV series ‘The Craft of The Potter’ when I was aged 11 and first had access to a ceramics studio. His passion for ceramics had a major and lasting impression on me and his programme introduced me to the variety and richness of British Studio Ceramics. We have an incredible heritage of makers in this country and the contemporary scene continues to be vibrant partly because of this.
I am also inspired by the places I have been lucky enough to travel to, in particular Japan. My first trip to Japan was an inspirational experience for me, it led to a complete change in my perspective and resulted in me looking at high-firing and Shino glazes as if for the first time. I was fortunate to be invited to participate in a traditional tea ceremony and encountered the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi which has helped me to crystallize my ideas on ways of making objects. Japan also showed me that ceramics can be appreciated as art.
Currently I am making work in a studio in my small garden and firing it in a propane kiln, but being in touch with my inner pyromaniac and having attended a kiln-building course in Devon with Nic Collins it can only be a matter of time before I find a way to build more and bigger kilns and maybe firing with salt and soda. Watch this space!
In my work, my hope is to have individuality and timelessness. I want to make honest and fresh pieces which speak of the processes which I enjoy.
I have been involved in education a long time and taught my first evening class at Loughborough University in 1986 and have worked as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Leicester College since 1998.
Teaching sits very well with me alongside my own practice, I enjoy being able to communicate my passion to others, and it also gives me the opportunity to learn from the process of helping others to create. This helps to keep the process of making exciting and fresh for me.
I also enjoy working collaboratively and had 6 very happy years working in the studio with my husband before back problems halted his working practice and forced him into a “proper job”. I now regularly work alongside Nigel Cunningham whose creative energy sparks mine as we throw, hand-build, develop clay bodies and glazes and rope in our partners in our attempts to build that perfect kiln.