From the moment a fresh bag of clay is opened my imagination is triggered by the sensory pleasure of its smooth texture and the anticipatory thrill of potential. Working with clay is as exciting and terrifying as a roller coaster ride, presenting as many challenges as rewards. To understand this soft malleable material — really just a lump of wet earth — takes time, but with considered handling and measured judgement it can be manipulated into dynamic and expressive form. This transformation goes through many stages as the clay is first shaped, then hardened and dried, before being finally and inexorably altered by the alchemy of firing to a new ceramic form — hard, durable and permanent. It is these contrasts that inspire me, and are where I look for the balance which is at the heart of what I do. Each element of balance is a new discovery, found somewhere between knowing how far the material can be pushed and when to let the material's own dogged nature dictate the final journey.
Technical expertise and experience are always challenged by each different set of influences, from pragmatic considerations to artistic instinct, and it is this space between that I am most interested in; it is where technique, material and creative insight meet. The theme of balance is a constant, significantly underlining my current work in which ideas of dynamic interplay between form and surface develop. By integrating drawing, surface mark making and volume I play with the balance of space and pattern alongside hue and texture on both the decorated and void surface areas. For me it is the balance between composition and form, absence and presence, that offers some of the most exciting opportunities for expressing my creative voice.