Hand painted lustre on white, turquoise and blue stoneware glaze.
My ceramics are derived from various influences in my life, allowing me to develop a very personal series of vessels, which are built on memories and experiences from my life but which also draw on the rich history of ceramics and the part it has played in many societies, central to the celebration of day to day lives. The robust form and external decoration of the dark stoneware vessels contrasts with the highly decorated interiors, giving a journey through fondly remembered china.
Excavating at various archaeological sites many years ago brought me in close contact with the pottery of ancient civilisations from Roman Italy, Medieval Britain and Pre Inca Peru. My exploration of form and external design has developed from this inherent knowledge and I developed a family of vessels, with the addition of ribs, knobs and carving on the basic moulded forms to reflect the historical form of metal, stone and ceramic vessels from the neolithic to neo classical periods.
A fundamental concept for the vessels was to develop a highly contrasting ‘lining’ to the bowls, to evoke the silk and lace of a half hidden petticoat or the unexpected lining of a coat; to create something delicate, or even a touch of bling. As the exterior of my vessels developed my experience as an archaeologist I also wanted the interiors to reflect other memories of my life, and increasingly it was the tea sets at the centre of often happy and meaningful moments and celebrations in my life:
• my grandmother’s gold and white tea set used when we visited for Sunday afternoon tea, with Shippam’s paste and cucumber sandwiches, battenburg and fondant fancies
• the classic blue and white willow pattern at a favourite holiday cottage,
• the “Wilmot” tea set given to me by my mother-in-law, covered in bees and flowers.
I use traditional methods to give a variety of decorative techniques, including underglaze painting in cobalt oxide, handpainted gold lustre, hand drawn decals and underglaze wax resist.