A PLACE IN THE WORLD
“Looking for a place to begin,
I wrote a note in a sketchbook.
It was an instruction which simply said
'Just make the pots that you want to make'
In the end, it comes back to basics
and what I feel are the essential things about my work.
Primarily I know it is to do with function
although not necessarily about utility and usefulness.
Secondly I question its place in the world.”
My work explores vessels and the ancient layers of cultural resonance embedded within archetypal forms. Made from porcelain, the forms are thrown then carved and shaped reflecting the fluidity of the material and physicality of making. The elemental colour and surface texture are created by the fusion of fire and soda in the intense heat of the kiln,leaving behind a subtle palette of smoky grey, lemon, russet and turquoise. On many levels, the pots I make are figurative pieces; each has its own character, particular emotional range and response.
Born in Co Derry, I trained in Ceramics at the Ulster College of Art and Design, Belfast. I worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops before establishing my first studio in Co Armagh and then in Herefordshire. I moved to Cornwall in 2008 to take up the role as Lead Potter at the restored Leach Pottery setting up the new production studio. During the five years in post there I designed a successful range of functional ware which respected the ethic and history of the pottery but which also had its place in a contemporary market. In the Gallery I curated a series of ceramic exhibitions illustrating the development of studio ceramic practice showcasing work by leading potters in both a historical and contemporary context.
My individual pots have been exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally. I have been privileged to be Chair of the CPA for 10 years, a founder and current Chair of Ceramic Art London and from 2008 – 2013, the first Lead Potter and Creative Director of the Leach Pottery. I currently work from my studio in Mousehole, Cornwall.