I have been potting full-time since late 2007, after a thirty-five year career in teaching, the last twenty-five as Director of Art at Harrow School. During this period I potted during the school holidays from a studio in south Herefordshire and then from 2003 from a new studio in Radnorshire.
My work is inspired by the European traditions of salt-glaze and slipware and by the revival of these pioneered by Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew in the two decades before WWII.
The pots are made at the wheel and decorated as they are thrown or at “leather hard” stage. The pots for salt firing are dipped in slips made from combinations of various clays. These will be transformed into glazes by the fluxing effect of sodium vapour, released as salt is cast into the fireboxes towards the end of each kiln firing. Interior glazes are mainly based on combinations of wood ash, clay and feldspar.
Since summer 2015 I have returned, for some of my work, to the ash and “oriental” glazes with which I began in the 1970’s. For this I built a new kiln, which backs onto the flue of the well-used salt kiln. Both are of downdraft design, have packing spaces of about 25 cubic feet, and are fired on wood and oil.
What I look for in my pots is the sense that they’ve always been here, while retaining the freshness of the moment they were thrown. I like them to be generous, to invite touch and to be complemented by good food and drink.