I have always been drawn to rocks, catching my eye as I walk the paths in the mountains, I would fill my pockets with the most beautiful ones, fascinated by their bright colours and markings. When my own work began to mimic those patterns and colours I was truly inspired to continue on this journey of discovery, firing my clay earth with organic material to recreate nature in the surface of my ceramics.
Moss and Lichen
Walking around the hills and valleys surrounding our farm I would often discover vivid green mosses and acid yellow lichens on the rocks and decaying material. After I had been pit-firing for several years these colours started to appear, as if by magic, into some of my pieces. Encouraged by the natural alchemy of the process I am constantly looking for new materials to fire with my work.
I have always loved being in the mountains, their soaring peaks, and the soft undulating nature of the weathered hills beyond. The multitude of colours that make up a landscape are echoed in the surface of my pieces, and people often comment that they see their own landscapes and mountains in the patterns on the surface of my ceramic forms.
The land below
Climbing up the mountainside I often stop to catch my breath and gaze in awe at the beauty and colours of the landscape far beneath me; the greens, reds and browns of the land merging to form swirling patterns around the black-grey rocks. I look into the deep vortex between the rocks, and at the colours which flow down the mountainside to the depths below. In my work I love the way the colours form inside the vessels, mirroring the imagery I see when climbing the mountains.
Lakes and rock pools
The ochres, umbers, chrome greens and burnt oranges of the earth as it tumbles down the mountainside to the deep dark blue lake. The soft greys and siennas of the rocks and pebbles surrounding the ultra-marine blue of the rock pools, which harbour a multitude of marine life in their secret depths beneath the surface. My deep forms and rock pool bowls have been inspired by these natural features in the landscape, their interiors alluding to these deep mysterious pools.
Beaches, seaweed and shoreline
All of my life I have been drawn back to the sea. I would spend my childhood summers in Cornwall, and later my family moved to live on the South Coast. So, when my own children were growing up, I took them too for holidays on the wild Cornish coast on The Lizard, and we would spend many happy hours scouring the pebbly beaches of Sussex, near their Grandparents’ home, collecting pebbles and seashells. My Mother still lives near the coast in Devon, which is where I gather all my dried seaweed that is so important for the formation of the colours during the pit-firing of my work, and I still search for the shiny pebbles and the iridescent shells as I walk along the shoreline.