I have sculpted, in one medium or another, for most of my life. Since leaving university I worked as a soft sculpture artist for seventeen years and undertook design commissions for several toy manufacturers in the UK and USA, including two plush mascots for Harley Davidson.
I returned to my first love – clay, and have been making figurative pieces since 2007.
I take my inspiration from the natural world and from folklore. Nature is uncompromising, sometimes cruel, but never dishonest. Folklore teaches us ancient wisdom through the telling of stories. Truth and wisdom are the companions of all those prepared to see themselves as they really are. In my work I like to play with ideas that explore the intimate dance between the two.
My pieces tell stories about what happens when we drop our social masks and reconnect with the Wild Dance of life. Sometimes my figures disguise themselves as animals. Occasionally they are caught in the act of transformation; part human, part beast...
I use mainly Ashraf Hanna Earthstone professional clay and my own paper clay. I keep colouring to a minimum and use light washes of oxides and stains and fire to 1240 ºC. I also use artist pigments and sometimes finish a piece with the application of Dutch metal leaf.
I take great care over the presentation of my work and regard a frame or mount as integral to the whole piece. Wood is a beautiful material in its own right, especially when it is well seasoned and has prominent grain, cracks or knots that some might consider ‘flaws’. I work deliberately with these natural occurrences, often enhancing and drawing attention to them by the addition of gilding. Wherever possible, I use British hardwoods such as oak, ash, and beech.