My ceramic work explores the potential
of the sculptural vessel through an
observation of culture, architecture and
environment. It interprets the historical
landscape of the Lowther Estate and
Gardens, Cumbria. Referencing the
extraordinary peculiarities of this site:
the overgrown gardens, architectural ruins
– plinths, stone staircases, ornate railings,
half-submerged doorways and 'living'
summerhouses. The work is also inspired
by the limestone geology and the unique
Through physical engagement with this
environment I have become emotionally
attached to the place. I have felt compelled
to make observations of the landscape,
documenting it through drawings and
photography, which I have then referenced
within my practice.
My ceramic sculptures are hand built in
stoneware clay using a combination of
slab building and coiling. When leather
hard the vessels are burnished and once
dry terra-sigillata is applied. The surface
may then be hand painted and/or
carbonised through smoke firing.
The sculptures are very precise and
controlled in their forms, indicative of
tensions or balance – a comment on man's
control over environment. In contrast, the surface decoration of the vessels when smoke fired appears very organic and embraces the element of unpredictability in the difficulty in controlling process.