Artist Statement

Since being a small girl I have loved to draw and was encouraged to develop this through my childhood. My excitement for the magical possibilities of clay began at Art College and these feelings have never faded. Discovering and specializing in the beautiful technique of Sgraffito has allowed me to pair up my two loves of drawing and clay work. I am passionate about this time consuming process and have developed a distinctive and unique style, with each piece being made, and meticulously decorated by hand. Telling a story and trying to capture a fleeting moment in time I find very fascinating. Birds and fish are particular favourites and being such nervous creatures I hope to give the impression they may take flight from a vessel or dish at any moment. My forms and designs are ever changing and I have numerous sketch books waiting to come to life.

The making process

Because my decoration is created using slips and clays at leather hard I am only able to work on one piece at a time. The drying process starts as soon as I begin to draw on my sgraffito and slowing this down is crucial as it gives me time to create my complex designs.

First, detailed pencil drawings are made of the animals and their habitats that I intend to decorate my next pieces with. I throw my forms using a white stoneware clay which are turned and manipulated whilst leather hard. The smooth forms are then completely covered in slip colours I have developed allowing my decoration to evolve freely. Over many days the outlines of the designs are drawn on to the form then using a selection of tools and scalpel blades the slip between the drawings is removed and scraped away until smooth. This process is slow and meticulous creating a three dimensional feel to the slip colours left behind much like cameo. At the final stages contrasting slip colour is added and all the details drawn on using a very thin pointed tool. Each piece is then left to dry slowly before the two firings. After the first bisque I brush a clear glaze onto the main themes leaving the rest of the piece matt creating a tension between the glazed and unglazed surface.
The final glaze firing is 1180°c in an electric kiln.

Sgraffito

This word translated from Italian means ‘to scratch away’ and has been used by many cultures to decorate buildings, paintings and pottery. It was first used in china during the 11th and 12th century AD and in Europe during the 16th century as relief decoration on buildings.

Education & History

2013 – Present Day
Full time creating detailed sgraffito decorative ceramics
2011 – 2013
Teaching pottery and slipware decoration from my studio
2006
Wellbeloved Gallery Portland Dorset exhibiting work tutoring students
Throwing demonstrations and exhibiting work at Brewers Quay in Weymouth
2001
Bonchurch Pottery Isle of Wight learning production throwing of domestic ware
1995 – 96
Surrey Institute of Art and Design 2nd year of a ceramics degree
1993 – 95
Worthing College of higher education Sussex HND in design
1991 – 93
Portsmouth Art College BTEC in design

Exhibition & Shows

2018
Three person show with Gael Sellwood at Cambridge Contemporary Art
A pot in the hand exhibition at The Round House Gallery Derbyshire, DE65 5DL
2017
Art in Clay Hatfield House
John Noott Galleries Art fair 18th to 22nd October London
Foss Fine Art London mixed Christmas show 11th of November
Sunny Art Centre Gray’s Inn road London
Making Dorset 7-20th December Bridport Art centre Dorset
2016
Art in Clay Farnham Maltings
Erwood Station Gallery Builth Wells Powys
Ferrers Gallery Staunton Harold Leicestershire
2015
The Junction Gallery Woodstock Winter show
Cambridge Contemporary Art three person show & demonstration of Sgraffito
Biscuit Factory Newcastle upon Tyne
2014
Walford Mill Crafts contemporary craft centre Wimborne
Harlequin Gallery with Helen Millard Taunton
Dorset Art Weeks open studios, my studio open to the public
Spring Discovery, National Trust Cotehele Gallery, Saltash, Cornwall
2013
Noel National Trust Cotehele Gallery, Saltash, Cornwall
Gallery On The Square Dorchester Poundbury
Flora & fauna Cambridge Contemporary Art Cambridge
2012
Make, Crafts for Christmas Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Dorset Art Weeks open studios
Cambridge Contemporary Art March
2011
Birds of a feather with Helen Millard at Gallery on The Usk
Imagine Gallery Suffolk Nursery Rhymes
Bovey Tracy Contemporary Crafts Fair
Cambridge Contemporary Art Cambridge
2010
Cambridge Contemporary Art Cambridge
Dorset Potters at Bridport Art Centre
West Country Potters at Saltram House

Outlets

Direct from studio St Georges workshops, Portland, Dorset
Sunny Art Centre, Gray’s Inn Road, London
Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey
Walford Mill Crafts, Wimborne, Dorset
Old Chapel Gallery, Abbotsbury
Fitch & Fellows, Thame, Oxfordshire
Rippingham Art – selling website
Cambridge Contemporary Art, Cambridge

Affiliations

Devon Guild of Craftsmen
Bluecoat Display Centre – Artist membership scheme
Society of Designer Craftsmen – Full member
Dorset Visual Arts – Full member
Craft Council – Makers directory
Craft Potters Association – Selected member
West Country Potters
London Potters
Studio  Pottery – selling website
Mark Clayton Photography