I moved to North Wales with my family in 2016 after 24 years living in Greater Manchester, where I trained to be a ceramicist at Manchester Metropolitan University – gaining a first-class BA Honours degree in 2007. I then spent ten years honing my craft by making and selling my work at craft fairs, shows and galleries around the country, winning several awards for my ceramics and displays. I have also taught and delivered ceramics sessions to varied groups at Manchester School of Art, Start in Salford, Ruthin Craft Centre, Blessed Thomas Holford College, Springfield Primary School and delivered one on one sessions in my studio.
Since moving to Llanfrothen in 2016 I have set up a studio space in an outbuilding which had been used as a miniature steam train workshop by a previous owner of the property, Mr J B Hollingsworth – a railway engineer and author. It feels quite special to work in there. I use a potters wheel to throw porcelain and black earthenware clay vessels. Inspired by Japanese Inro, I adorn my work with silk threads, imbuing the object with a sense of belonging or special importance. I am hoping to renovate my studio next year and eventually run ceramics sessions along with residential workshops.
Driven by the desire for beauty and perfection I make ornamental ceremonial vessels such a cups, bottles, lidded vessels and bowls. I do not make with a function in mind; instead I am ruled by my heart and of being in the moment. I try to be true to the material and the processes and in doing so allow the material to speak for itself. When throwing on the wheel I try to empty my mind of any thoughts, ideas or pre conceived plans and just allow the material to speak for itself. This doesn’t always make for a productive throwing session. However I believe this way of working ‘in the moment’ creates the setting for an honest object to be produced – an honest object from natural materials made from the heart.
I have been inspired by the intimacy we have with certain objects ever since visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. I was frustrated that I couldn’t hold the beautiful artefacts housed behind glass. 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. 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.