Statement

 

The Ceramics presented at St Ives Ceramics Gallery represent a select collection of current works that have developed from a period between 1991 to 2011. Over this time my ceramics have evolved out of my sensitivities and changing attitudes to Clay and Fire. My initial work was born out of traditional Vessel based pot- tery, to Assemblage forms, to present sculptural Ceramics. This development of my work gives an insight into my inspiration for change in creative thought, technical pursuit and evolving aesthetic approach. However I believe that although the work of an Artists, Craftspersons or Designers changes in shape and form over years of making the presense in ones ceramic is a manefestation of all your thoughts, energies and creations gone before. In this context I hope the work you view reveals an aesthetic form that has a sense of its belonging and past.

My creative concept has developed from a fascination with Vessels that play roles in enhancing the social rituals of food and drink; to later practices that obsessed with the manipulation of clay by fusing and melt- ing the material to create forms of distortion and fragmentation, expressing thoughts on how flaws manifest themselves with-in a persons character; to my present preoccupation with fashioning Clay to mimic objects that act as personal metaphors, reflecting a moment or represent an experience. In this sense they behave like blank canvases on which I make an idiosyncratic mark, sign or imagery that is either scratched, scribble or created by the presence of the flame within the firing process.

My process of making has gradually developed according to my ideas. Between 1991 to 96 creating was driven and initiated under a fascination and with the efficiency of the Potters’ kick-wheal and the unique effects achieved from Wood-firing. Here I created medium size stoneware Vessels that were inspired from our late Medieval Anglo-Saxon pottery. Thereafter this aesthetic intrigue with 14-16 Century Ceramics was furthered by an influence in Korean & Japanese Ceramic Wares.

My obsession with building kilns and playing with fire has also had a major consequence in the develop- ment of my work. 1996 to 2001 this intrigue indulged me to develop my Vessels via a specialist firing process known as Hifuse. Here the potter/ artist subjects his/her forms to extremely prolonged periods of high tem- perature firing. This exposes the ceramic material/form to a gradual fusion and melt process, inducing and creating distortion but aiming to develop a changed form/vessel revealing a metamorphic outcome; a unique structure born out of the flames and touched by the fate of the gods. With concepts moving away from utility I initiated further complimentary processes to work along side my Hifuse approach that started to explore ‘sagger’ firing, around the period 1999-2004. Making also developed by deconstructing the thrown Pot only to reconstruct it in an expressive manner that reflected figuration. Much of this work echoed an inward take on ugliness. My most recent work (2006-2011) development occurred out of life changing circumstances which conse- quentially also changed my source of creative inspiration. Making and Firing Processes also changed. Here I adopted the more contemplated method of making using wooden Moulds and using hand manipulating techniques to finish the process. Alongside this I adapted the firing process known as ‘Saggar’ Firing. The sagger process allows the ceramicist to fumigate their work within conventional Kilns creating carbon patternation and flame impingement which is recorded on the surface of the ceramic wares enhancing and accentuating the Forms shape and contours.