My clay work ranges from functional tableware to decorative sculpture and wall art. I hand build every piece, then sculpt or carve surface designs – always working freehand so that each piece is one-of-a-kind.
From the smallest of tiles to the largest of vases, each of my pieces is hand-built. Depending on the shape I’m after (or the mood I’m in) I may work with slabs, coils, pinching or any combination of techniques to form or build up a shape.
Plates and platters I may form against a mold so that there is some consistency in size and shape between pieces that might stay together as a set. Many larger vessels are completely free-form, yielding shapes never to be exactly repeated. When it comes to sculptural forms, anything could happen…
Once a piece has dried enough to hold its shape but is still soft, I either sculpt or carve in colored underglazes to create a surface design.
Occasionally, I’ll coat the entire surface of a piece in one underglaze color, then carve away to expose my design. Often I’ll build a design using several colors – applying one color, carving to get the detail I want, then applying the next color, and so on…
Purely decorative pieces I sometimes finish without any glaze at all – I might paint some background color into the design, but it can be nice to see the texture of the raw clay in a piece that won’t need frequent cleaning or be used to serve food. All functional work is finished with a food-safe glaze.