Wall pieces all begin with sketches, sitting out in a field or wood, observing the patterns and textures in nature. Then back in the pottery I make tiles to test out surface patterns and textures before embarking on the final creation.
Inspiration comes from places where the elements of earth and water combine in beautiful harmony. One of my favourite sources is a silver birch copse that is loosely reflected in the river a stones throw from my studio.
The porcelain tiles are made individually by hand, and painted using ceramic slips, glaze and oxide – employing a range of painterly techniques to create visual and tactile interest.
All wall pieces are available in small, wide and extra wide.
Small – 43 x 32 cm, wide – 78 x 32 cm, extra wide – 95 x 50 cm
Prices : small- £250, wide – £350, extra wide £450
Silver Birches with Sun Breaking Through
This wall piece depicts one of my favourite places, a small copse of silver birches that grows alongside the flood meadows of the Lower Derwent Ings. I am always drawn to the shapes and spaces created by the tree trunks and use a mishima technique to recreate these patterns. Thick black slip is used for the foliage which fades subtly into the background. A soft glow of sunshine gently permeates the scene.
The Ings land lies adjacent to my rural studio pottery. During the winter months the river spills out over the meadows, enriching the soil and providing interesting surfaces. Here the floodwaters are beginning to recede, leaving swathes of debris and pools of water. A birch wood stands in the middle distance – just high enough to prevent being inundated, with a pathway leading the viewer into the picture.
Subtle greys, and blues along with glossy and matt surfaces create a moody feel.
Serenity wall piece is my signature image. It depicts a silver birch copse that grows close to my pottery, loosely reflected in the River Derwent.
Using a mishima technique I carve directly into the surface of the porcelain, inlaying black slip to suggest spindly tree trunks. The black slip is then applied in multiple layers to form thick textural foliage. Fleeting reflections are suggested using turquoise copper oxide dropped into a glossy white river.
Skipwith Common is a SSSI lowland heath area near to York. There are shy ponies that can sometimes be observed very early in the morning and also some long horned cattle that roam freely. Line Pools are remnants from this historic trade route, route where jute was washed for making into sacking.
The wall pieces of this woodland feature spindly birch trees, muddy pools and tangled masses of undergrowth. The viewpoint is very close up, placing the viewer is deep inside the wood and leading the eye through the pools.
I love the winter when frost and snow transform the woodlands around my studio. Winter scenes lend themselves beautifully to being depicted in white porcelain and glaze, I can build up layers using transferred slip deftly applied to the finished picture. Another technique I often use is to sketch into the surface of the porcelain and inlay the marks with black slip. Surfaces are carefully built up with many layers of slip to create visual and tactile interest.
To the foreground a delicately carved twig stands out against the dark trees behind. The final highlights are made from fine porcelain slip and touches of glaze, frosting the while landscape.
Many of the coastal wall pieces are inspired by seascapes and rock textures observed on the coastline of North West Highlands and the East Yorkshire coastline.
I’m attracted to the weathered surfaces and the processes of erosion, evident on rocks and cliffs. Working with the porcelain at leather hard stage enables me to carve deeply into the surface, creating ribs that resemble formations in the sand.
Where the rocks meet the air is a glinting line of light. This waterline marks the change between dry and wet submerged rock with water swirling around creating beautiful contrasting surfaces.
Barnacles and signs of erosion give textural detail and a contrast to the glossiness of the sea. Soft blues and turquoises of the sea contrast with rich brown rocks peppered with barnacles and lichen.
As the sun comes out the whole aspect of the rock face is lightened and brightened. Tidal water fills the rockpool , sculpting sand bars that I recreate by carving deeply into the porcelain. I then flood the base of the wall piece with glossy glaze and soft copper oxide to complete the watery effect. Soaring cliffs are painstakingly built up with layers of slip, applied then eroded back, then applied again to create a sumptuous tactile surface.