My ceramics are primarily brightly coloured vessels and moon-jars depicting nature in the form of landscapes and oceans which I feel deeply connected to. I explore colour and textures and try to create a balance in tensions between matte and glazed surfaces within the form, in parallel with our earth’s surfaces. My work is wheel thrown and sometimes altered to accommodate the landscape format, often painting brush strokes in vitreous slips, oxides and glazes in multiple layers
creating diverse textures These are spontaneous, inspired by mood and memories. I continue to explore new ways to develop the contrasts found in these surfaces, which is ultimately an analogy of our constantly changing earth.
Growing up in Mallorca and the Western Cape, I had an artistic upbringing, as my father was a painter and my mother was a photographer and potter. I was deeply affected by the wonderful proliferation of plants and animals which inhabit an amazingly diverse landscape, from the rugged bays of the coast to the rolling hills of the winelands, presided over by imposing mountain ranges. This is how my love of nature and open landscape began.
I first trained and worked as a graphic artist in Cape Town, then I had the opportunity to travel extensively through southern Africa and to work as a safari guide. I raised my family in England but I have never lost my love of the outdoors and of nature. I now live in the Surrey Hills, where the varied landscape changes continually as the seasons progress.
In my early work, I explored traditional African techniques, hand-coiling pots, burnishing with pebbles, then firing them outside using organic materials to achieve serendipitous textures and earthy colours. I continued the African themes when I studied for my MA at UCA, under Magdalena Odundo, using traditional firing techniques where the pot surface captures the magical carbonised smoke patterns.
After my MA, I changed direction to further develop techniques for using oxides and vitreous slips. Colour has always been my fascination. This enabled me to use painterly effects in order to capture the essence of scenes in abstract form on the clay, where memories of the past inform visions of the present.
I’m constantly exploring and learning. But after many years, though, I still find a real joy in opening the kiln; as only then does each piece reveal its whole story.