TEXTURES FROM THE EARTH
I approach the making of my vessels with energy and immediacy, working on the form and its surfaces during the process of making and drying. My application of slips and oxides alter the surface and the layering of materials added to the vessel emphasise the plasticity and surface qualities of clay whilst achieving the feel of a landscape.
I seek to push the boundaries of the pot/clay to become an abstract object in the art ceramic sculptural world. I begin with thrown or hand built clay forms, I use the wheel to shape the exterior surface.
While I may have an idea and understanding of the shape, it is through careful manipulation, alterations with the surface with clastic sedimentary stones and oxides that the exterior of the vessel is derived. Textures from the Earth series of work reflects the landscape of the Welsh landscape and coastline.
The layering of 200 million year old clastic sedimentary stones, beach quartz, granite, brushed and layered Anglesey copper and glazes adds colour and textural effects that are harmonious to each piece making each vessel unique and individual.
I am collecting rocks, clastic sedimentary stones, natural oxides, and fossils from different parts of the UK and these will be incorporated into new work this year and create pottery sculptural vessels unique to that area of Britain, Scotland, Wales.
OVER 30 YEARS OF MAKING PROFESSIONALLY
I studied at Wrexham College of art and design under the tutorage of David Binns and Willie Carter - on a National Diploma. I then moved to Chesterfield College under the tutorage of Geoff Fuller - Chris Yenson - Trevor Nicklen and many visiting lecturers - Janet Leach - Patrick Seargent - Takashi Yasuda.
After my training I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and developed Wisp Farmhouse Pottery which was mainly production throwing a tonne of clay every 4-6 days in peak production and focusing on the purity of wood firing.
I have sold extensively across the UK and internationally in galleries, Primavera Cambridge - Henry Rothschild - Oxford Ceramics Gallery James Fordham - Bevere gallery and many more. I have Ceramic pieces in major collections nationally and Internationally including the Rothschild private collection.
After several years I then had to moved to Kettering and the beautiful village of Grafton Underwood made famous in the Bridget Jones films to build and establish Mill Farm Pottery embracing a new workshop within a stable yard complex. The pottery produced a range of tin glazed utilitarian ware and earthenware plant pots and garden ware again utilising my production throwing skills.
Accepted onto the second year of a 3 year degree because of previous skill level I enriched my knowledge through the skilled teaching of Geoff Swindell - Peter Starkey -Graham Williamson - Emanuel Cooper visiting lecturer and moderator gaining a Ceramics degree at UWIC in Cardiff 2/1 following on with a PGCE teaching in Art & Design.
I have been involved in many projects but my most memorable was a joint project with Martin Lungley in Albania establishing a self sustaining workshop with local people. This was a 14 day project to create a working functional pottery from scratch; sourcing clay, building wheels, equipment and a trolley wood fired kiln and training 4 individuals. The making process was with the use of plaster moulds producing large scale garden ware.
I have been a teacher in various guises over the years but formerly a teacher of art for 19 years. This has led to a good understanding of the world of art in general but the most satisfying part for me is teaching children and young adults. I feel blessed to be both a potter and a teacher. This has enabled me to teach in both the UK and the USA.
I have previously been involved in the co-organising a major exhibition held yearly at Ellesmere College. I have helped run and manage two galleries; Quirky Art Ceramics in Ellesmere and Quirky Art Studio Gallery in Llangollen, with my wife Louise Ostara (Ostara Ceramics).
Over time, and the building of numerous kilns and experimentation of wood fired, salt glaze and oil firing has left a permanent mark on me. This experimental honest approach to potting stays true within me.
My work reflects my love and passion for nature and the energy that generates and flows through the process of life into my pots.