I love adventure, taking risks, pushing boundaries. I love the countryside, the sea, and the mountains. And I live in a remote valley farm, deep in the Chiltern Hills. For most of my life I have been involved with ceramics in one way or another. When my family were growing up I worked at the prestigious Douglas Watson Studio, making and decorating ceramics tiles. And I was Artist in Residence for 18 months at the local primary school, in the years leading up to the millennium, working with the children to create a 3 x 2 metre relief tile mural for the new school’s reception area.
Following the success of the tile mural I was encouraged to follow a more formal education in ceramics, and after achieving an A level (Aa) in Ceramics at a local college, I gained a place to study for a BA (Hons) in Ceramics and Glass at Bucks New University. It was during the 2nd year of my degree, whilst experimenting with smoke-firing, that I discovered the unusual technique of ‘pit-firing’. This is a process in which pots are buried in sawdust in a large deep trench, surrounded by seaweed and other organic material, and then a large fire is built over them, which at its height reaches about 1100 degrees centigrade. The pit is then sealed, and 2 days later it is uncovered to discover the results buried in the ashes.
In 2009 I renovated the old dairy on my farm into my workshop by landlord funded structural repairs, and SEEDA ‘LEADER’ Funding for the internal conversion into a workshop. LEADER supports rural businesses through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), and successful projects are awarded a 50 % match funded grant.
I now work in this beautiful old building, surrounded by the hills and the countryside that I love & which inspires my ceramics.