I was inspired to wheel thrown pottery when I first went to Palmerston North Teachers College in New Zealand. The Pottery Department was led by the renowned New Zealand potter Stan Jenkins.
That was nearly 40 years ago! In anticipation of my retirement ideas were storing up and now with time I am rarely out of my studio and am once again exploring the medium of clay and am trying out the many ideas that have come to me over the years.
My studio is in the back garden in 'The Chicken Run', where I produce an eclectic mix of Stoneware both wheel-thrown and hand-built work. The chooks are an inspiration and take a keen interest in everything that is going on eagerly wandering into the studio and reluctantly leaving as they are shooed out. They are often subjects of my pottery.
I work predominantly with stoneware clay as it is strong and will take the heat of the oven and the extreme weather outside. I love throwing open forms such as bowls that allow me to experiment with glazes and produce beautiful results.
But my real interest is in following my imagination with hand-built work. Garden features , include windchimes, animals balanced on stones and bird baths. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring hand built bowls made of coils, dots and the imprint of leaves, producing work that is functional and aesthetic. Most recently I have experimented with lamp shades. As these take some time to produce each develops uniquely. The glass and glazes are the final touch that brings the work to life.
I also make quirky animals that often feature in my thrown and hand-built work. These come alive and pose for me as I make them, so each is unique. Hares are my favourite and I have been asked to produce a sporty hares,artist hares, a Jazz band, hiker hares with knapsacks and doctor hares with stethoscopes. Personalising pieces is part of the fun. Stoneware can take very high and very low temperatures and thus can work in the home and garden.
I have fired Raku and love the organic nature of this pottery. Raku is so instantaneous and is pure chemistry in action as the glaze firing can be seen in front of your eyes. I try to bring to life the native New Zealand bush and creatures that are so familiar to me. Tree fern and leaf imprints add texture and the Raku Tuatara Lizard is a favourite of mine as the Raku glazes produce amazing colouration.
I have produced commissioned work, individualised and personalised and am open to challenges.