I was born in south London in 1969 and trained in contemporary dance and theatre before choosing to specialise in printmaking and ceramics. Largely self-taught, I learned my skills through a series of informal apprenticeships, developing my practice in environments as diverse as the snowy north woods of the USA and the sun-soaked vineyards of Burgundy, France, my home for more than fifteen years.
Now based at Thick as Milk studios in the old industrial site of Woolwich Dockyard I produce functional, decorative ceramics using a range of high fired stoneware clays.
Having previously focussed on printmaking as my preferred medium I was drawn to the sgraffito technique for decorating the surfaces of my pots, vases, pitchers, cups and platters. This technique creates a relief surface, achieved by carefully carving away a surface of contrasting coloured slip to reveal the bare clay body beneath. As well as smaller wheel thrown pieces I also make large part thrown, part hand-built vessels that provide larger surfaces on which to carve free-hand my original designs. Inspiration and recurring themes stem largely from my immediate natural environment: trees, wild grasses, roadside flora, and even swimming Koi carp are frequent adornments to my pots.
Each piece is entirely handmade and unique: I do not use moulds or formers. The time and cost of making depends on the size of the finished piece and the complexity of the decoration. All of my ceramics are fired twice in the kiln, first to just under 1000 degrees centigrade, and then, once glazed, to 1260 degrees. This second firing renders the product extremely strong and non-porous making it safe for dishwashers. The glazes are tried and tested, lead-free, and entirely food safe.