I remember the first time I touched clay. Below the pebble strewn sand of the Swan Point beach, it was soft, grey and pliable and I made wonderful little vases while my brothers made tunnels through the sand.
Many years later several Adult Education classes wetted my appetite but it wasn’t until the mid 80’s my clay addiction really began, with TAFE, then Art School and the building of my first studio.
At this time my membership of what was then The Potters Society opened up new worlds of possibilities through the many workshops given by visiting ceramicists. One of the most inspirational was Canadian Matthias Ostermann, whose maiolica decoration introduced me to terracotta and colour. Even now I keep coming back to maiolica, despite it not being the “fashion statement” that it was in the 80’s.
My ceramics range also includes terracotta with various blue glazes, white earthenware with printed blue decoration and Southern ice porcelain, mainly water-etched.
In 2008 I began to explore another medium. Having decided that too much pottery was straining my back and wrists, and that I wanted to work with more colour, I discovered felting. I didn’t at the time realise that felting was, although in different ways, equally hard on the back and wrists. All that rubbing and rolling! Felting, unlike pottery, is soft, light and immediate. With colour what you see is what you get (apart from the shrinkage!) It is supportive of quite a different side of my artistic temperament.
So now I am both potter and felter (and a teacher). I tend to move between both crafts depending on where my inspiration takes me. I have a pottery studio at my home in Lindisfarne. My felting space is the dining room table. Both happily co-exist.
In 2017 it is about time I add to this. I continue to make decorative tableware, with more slab work than thrown at the moment. My felting has taken a back seat, but the intention is always there.
Teaching is an integral part of my arts practice, and I teach in my studio as well as with Adult Education.
You will find my work in Off Centre, downstairs in Salamanca Arts Centre, and often at Salamanca Market where I am a casual stallholder. (I am usually up the hill near Davey Street).