My work is rooted in the personal, representing themes of emotional impact – from upheaval to trauma.
Unusually for a maker, my sketch books consist primarily of words. My process begins with a written exploration of an emotional experience or state of mind. Whilst doing this I get a strong visual impression of the direction a piece will take, which I doodle-sketch as an aide-memoire. This activity will also produce a one or two-word working title. With these, I start working with the clay.
For many years my work was an exploration of my struggles with pre- and post-natal depression and the subsequent anxieties which accompanied it.
Since recovering from depression, the conceptual start points of my pieces have evolved, but the overall theme of mental processes remains central to my practice.
I craft my one-off sculptures and vessels in a variety of stoneware and porcelain clays, using both throwing and handbuilding techniques.
My handbuilt sculptures are constructed directly on the kiln-shelves, using textured slabs: shaping, tearing, joining and lastly propping thoroughly to prevent unwanted warping in the kiln. After initial firing, oxides are layered up, before glazing with a selection of glazes, to create subtle variations of colour and tone - with occasional dark accents - to reflect the narratives explored through the work.
My vessels start life as thrown forms which I make on the wheel before cutting, joining and distorting. Oxides and engobes are used sparingly to enhance details, before glazing with my quiet palette of glazes.
Ceramics is my second career. In a previous life I worked as an advertising strategist, whilst spending my evenings pursuing my genuine passion in life of clay.
Working with clay is, for me, the ultimate ‘flow’ activity. And therapy. Having had a first career which was interesting, but ultimately unfulfilling, I know just how lucky I am for my work to also be my passion and my happy place.
I live and work in North West London with my husband and two daughters.