Work & News



(Updated Sept 2014) 
2014: 
'Big boats' setting sail!  My idiosyncratic pot naming style is probably not the best and my 'big boat' thematic sculptures have secondary names like 'dancing sharks', 'clam rocker' and 'conker-er' which may make Googling them rather hard. But I'm pleased to say my recent sales have all been in the big boat and small boat series, plus a lot of interest in my new geometric 'nut', 'waveform' and 'mussel' forms with both naked raku ( Dalmatian spotted ) and Saggar fired finishes.

The NPA show at Joe Cornish in July had a first for me: my signature piece for this show, a balancing 'Big boat' assembly called 'Green dancers', sold a half hour before the private view opened!

After an NPA show at the Turnstone Gallery, Sandsend, I was very pleased to be asked to supply the gallery - another ambition realised;-) It's bright and airy with a fresh, welcoming atmosphere and is literally on the seafront in the small picturesque village 2 miles north of Whitby.  The north end of the beach fades into shale cliffs crammed with fossils.

Currently I'm making new forms, 'mussels' and 'nuts' which, like my 'waveforms' are scale independent and lend themselves to compositions of multiples in various arrangements, sizes and naked raku finishes.  Latest development is a desktop 'presentation nest' for the small mussel - watch this space.

Also I'm continuing developing a smaller version of 'big boats' assemblies to offer a scale between the 'big and the small' versions - moreover, the small version 'nests' beautifully within the bowl section of a 'big boat' segment offering even more variation options.

Canted, rather than  straight, connections of the segments provide a new dynamic direction ( working title 'dancing sharks' ) and heavy reduction after raku firing promotes metallic finishes from the copper based glaze.  The 'waveform', with variations in shape, angle, material, finish and 'family' composition will be a major diversion this year as I settle into my newly built studio space.  'Prayer engines' (NJNZ) are disposable votive vessels usually only made to commission (carrying a secreted wish that cannot be read without destroying the piece).

I work principally in raku where clay takes a spectacular elemental journey through fire, air and water to become ceramic.  Random crackle glazes dress tightly controlled, thrown forms evoking aeronautical/spacecraft engines, seedpods, nuts and flowers.  Decoration, where applied, is simple and geometric using tape or pre-cut paper shape "resists" counterpointing the crackle, which is the "signature" of raku. 

I also use the "naked raku" process where the bisqued pots have a layer of raw slip and sacrificial glaze applied, which is removed after the "smoking phase" of cooling the red hot pots to reveal the carbon patterning which has impregnated the pot body.
 
I press mould larger sculptural 'big boats', have new colours for the thrown work of seed, squid and tube vases, and have gone 'freeform' into narrative patterning on vase forms as well as deforming them into oval variations.   Working on intriguing new, hand-built hollow forms called "waveforms".  This form lends itself to manufacture at many scales and in many materials including ceramic. Its edge describes a sinusoidal wavefrom when seen at a particular angle and the form's two sides offer wide possibility for contrasts in finish, pattern and texture.
 

 

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