In 1984 after three years at Art school I went to work with the team of potters in the village of Aldermaston in Berkshire.Alan Caiger-Smith led the Aldermaston Pottery and I worked with him for 22 years learning the technique of tin-glaze and reduction fired lustre earthenware .
After the pottery at Aldermaston closed in 2006 I started the Yarnton Pottery
Tin has been used as a whitener in glazes since 9th century Persia and lustre also has its roots in this period too, travelling through Spain and the rest of Europe becoming popular in England around the 18th century . As well as an electric kiln which is good for Tin-Glaze I also have a gas fired kiln which enables me to produce reduction fired lustre. Using silver and copper this technique needs a reduction of oxygen during the firing to create the iridescent surface
One of my inspirations is the medieval Animal Bestiary and its symbolism and I have also recently become interested in what I call the blessing fruits. Pomegranates , fig trees , the olive tree and the vine, wheat and barley. Also I’m influenced by the four elements which is very much a potters theme , needing all the elements to make a pot possible, the clay, water , fire and air
The technique of Tin glaze leads its self to decoration. Because of the Earthenware firing temperature The designs painted on are stable and the natural oxides show up so brightly on the white glaze .
The tin glazed pot is my canvas , so my designs are are always of something that has some meaning either from visual experiences of the past or present , but often rooted in the tin glaze designs I have seen on pots from all over the world going back to the beginning in 9th century Persia .
Following the tradition of tin glaze pottery I have done many commemorative commissions
So many of my designs are requests from visitors .