View by Artist View by Artwork
UK Indigenous Potter
My work draws upon 55 years of research into design and function of ceramics throughout both History and Prehistory (Pre Historic Pottery holds the most magic for me)..
I have spent the last 40 years exploring methods of firing and making used throughout the world by indigenous peoples. I use shapes and forms that resonate with the past and landscape of the British Isles and this has been recognised by other Indigenous Peoples, such as the Maori, and some Native Americans, who recognise me as an Indigenous Potter from the UK.
My work forms part of a continuum of functional pottery with a ritual element, hopefully evoking patterns that resonate with archetypical European/human symbolism dating as far back as the very early Neolithic, and some even further back to the very origins of mark making somewhere in the deep Palaeolithic, as well as looking forward..
My work is all hand thrown, usually on a kick wheel and fired in either a gas or wood fired kiln, which, for me, maintains the contact and the conversation between the potter, earth, water, fire, air, the past and the future.. My work is found in both public and private collections around the world..
In the past few years I have had the good fortune to work more closely with indigenous potters from different parts of the world; this has obviously had an effect on my own work, allowing me to reassess the use of materials other than ceramic within the body of work.
Using materials such as driftwood sets up questions, such as “how do I incorporate this into the work?” as well as offering up a sense of time and place that the eternal nature of ceramic leaves behind somehow. Even using materials in the actual ceramic that have resonances with place and activity, somehow, even after exposure to huge amounts of heat, ceramic seems cold in a way, unresponsive, fixed. Adding other materials (for example within the glaze matrices etc) seems to open up possibilities of further accrued ritual significance, allowing the object to become encrusted with meaning, hyperlinks to other spaces/regions of experience.
Pottery, for me is a narrative, much in the way that objects seem to have served as narrative matrices for earlier/different cultures, (in present day Eurocentric culture, think book, or even better, computer game), containers for many cultural attributes such as mores, rituals, survival strategies, histories, science.. Making marks on ceramic imparts to those marks a chance at immortality, to carry the message into the next eon, and adding other materials amplifies those marks, maybe describes the object as not only a bowl, but a basket of dreams. It also “sets the object aside” picks it out as “special”, removes it, perhaps, from the mundane functionality that daily life can become in a world of rush and hurry..
I have always tried to bring an extra dimensionality into my work, (in these days of mass production, what else is left for the craftsman to do), to move beyond the functionality that sees life itself as no more than a set of functions, circumscribed by class, age, position and wealth, cities designed for the maximum comfort for the maximum people and yet soulless, with people treated (and treating others) as nothing more than replaceable parts in some infernal machine..
All the pots tell stories, how deep the stories are depends on you, the observer, to interpret…
Sit down by the fire, traveller, and enjoy the tales told here…
136 West End