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I first came across my love for clay in 2008. I studied a National Diploma in Art and Design at Newcastle College where I specialised in ceramics. This led me straight onto a Foundation Degree in Contemporary Ceramic Practice held at the same institution. In these two years I found a passion for the technique of throwing, I adapted each and every project to incorporate this process. After these two years I transferred to Sunderland University where I finished my final year. This move between institutions was the best decision I could have made for my ceramic career. My ideas where pushed and challenged and I was made to look at my work from a different angle. Technically I became more accomplished and started taking more risks with the production of my work.
I am now a graduate from Sunderland University having achieved a First Class Honors; my aim is to continue working towards being an successful ceramic artist.
Dramatic textures and natural colours: the relationship between rough and smooth surfaces. Together with the focus of our surrounding environments has been my main artistic focus for many years. Inspiration comes directly from the coastline; the activities that happen in these locations day after day. The underlying theme of shells and their various forms are evident in my current series of work. Subtle hints of colour add contrast to the dry unglazed clay body; evoking a weathered and textured surface with a contemporary twist. I have developed a technique of throwing and altering which tries to capture the connection between human and nature. I adore the interaction between my hands and the clay through this process. Manipulating the shape and size of the piece to my exact specifications. The immediate results achieved through this way of working are what drive me on, pushing my boundaries and ability. Porcelain, Brown Stoneware and Black clay are the three types of clay used throughout my collection.
They are all fired to a top temperature of 1280˚ in Oxidation (Electric) or Reduction (Gas) firings. Transparent Glaze and Copper Carbonate Oxide have been used to decorate the pieces in various ways, while some have been left bare. These pieces are all produced through the process of ‘Throwing and Altering’. The pottery wheel is covered with a wooden bat which I will then throw on. I start by throwing a simple flared bowl on the wooden bat, smoothing out the base and sides of the vessel. I then hang the pot upside down; pulling and stretching the pieces using my finger tips. Once I have achieved my desired shape I allow the pot to dry. Once dry the entire bottom will be turned. Starting on the wheel I turn the excess base clay. I finish the pot off by hand with a grater and metal Kidney. This gives the pieces a smooth round base that allows them to sit and rock in various positions. The pieces are fired to a low bisque temperature of 900˚c, and the bases sanded to finish the pieces. At this stage I will add either the copper carbonate or transparent glaze to decorate the vessel. When being fired to top temperature the pieces are stood on a hump of silver sand to prevent the bases slumping flat.