Using slip-casting, throwing and hand-building techniques I make small bottles, cups, bowls and lidded vessels. Influenced by Japanese Inro, I attach coloured silk threads and porcelain beads. I have been inspired by the intimacy we have with certain objects ever since visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I was frustrated that I couldn’t hold the beautiful artefacts housed behind glass. In a world of throwaway products it is precious to find something that stands the test of time. Objects like these hold the imprints of our ancestors, they evoke feelings within us, we have a connection with them, we can be intimate with them. I wanted to connect with the energy of the material used, the maker and the people who have held and loved the piece over the years.
I want to explore this intimacy with objects and the relationship with the past that they evoke. My hands shape and mould the clay and one day another’s hands will hold and caress the piece. Hopefully there will be some connection between the maker and the beholder. I believe we are drawn to certain objects not just for their aesthetic beauty but the energy contained within them; this is what drives my practice.
From a very young age I was always making, whether it be knitting, stitching, baking, taking photographs, pressing flowers from my Grandmothers garden to make pictures or mashing the petals with water to create a perfume. My hands were always active and busy creating and making things. My creativity was encouraged by my Parents and Grandparents, however being an artist was never sold to me whilst at school. I originally trained as a graphic designer but after many years I returned to college to study an art foundation at South Trafford College. This is where I really got the chance to make stuff again and work with clay. I was hooked! My lecturer guided me towards studying three dimensional design at Manchester Metropolitan University. After visiting the college on an open day I was amazed that such a course existed, one where you could make things for a living and the University had amazing facilities. I studied woodwork, glass, metal, ceramics and design for production. In 2007 I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree.
After graduating I set up a studio at Bankley Studios in Leveshulme, where I worked for four years. I have since built a studio in my garden at home and currently work and exhibit from there. I have delivered many ceramics classes and workshops to; university students, primary and secondary school pupils, adult evening classes at MMU, and art therapy sessions at Start in Salford. I was one of the artists working on the Crafts Council’s Firing up scheme in 2011/2012. A programme designed to get schools making with clay again and firing up the kilns as well as their enthusiasm for clay. I delivered workshops for the teachers and then went into the schools to deliver ceramics sessions to the pupils. It was very inspiring and was very important for me to be part of. I felt this was the kind of opportunity, experience and guidance that I lacked whilst at school. I have since then offered work experience opportunities at my studio for school children.
I sell my work in galleries and take part in ceramics shows and contemporary craft fairs around the country. I have won awards for Best Stand at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey, Best Northern Maker at The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and was awarded the People’s Choice at Sale Waterside Open Exhibition.