A brief history of my life in ceramics.
I have collected contemporary ceramics all my adult life and when I retired from my first life as a family doctor my partner asked me why I didn’t try making rather than just collecting the work of other people. Tentatively I applied for an evening class but I found myself encouraged to go beyond that under the inspiring guidance of Daphne Carnegie at City & Islington College. Four years later and with a BTEC in my cap I’d run out of options there and applied to Westminster University as a half time BA student. I didn’t know then that it would be the final opportunity to do so. Half time students were asked to speed up and get out in five years instead of six, as tragically the department was to be closed. They started pulling the buildings down before we left. The course was a wonderfully enriching experience with many aspects that I would never otherwise have studied, print making being one that I specially enjoyed.
But the steady development of my own creative language with clay, glazes and fire was my great satisfaction and pleasure – an extraordinary new, second career for me, and a creative outlet to add to my passion for gardening. I can trace the theme that links some of my earliest work at City and Islington through to the more recent bottle-kiln inspired, thrown pots that embody my wrestling with the clay and all its admixed grits and colouring oxides. In these, the darker, rougher lower regions threaten to invade the comfort of the smoother, lighter and more colourfully glazed upper parts that they support.
In my work I try to embody an expression of concern for the masses of our fellow men who have and still do labour in distressing conditions in order that people like you and I can have a happy, prosperous and secure life. We tend not to be hugely concerned about this, or not sufficiently so to do much about it. These pots are the result of my conscience stirring.
I have lived in the same house in Islington for over 30 years and am currently working in a shared studio in Wood Green, North London.
B A (Hons) Ceramics University of Westminster, Harrow, 2012
BTEC Professional Development Certificate City & Islington College, 2006
MB; BS. University of London, Middlesex Hospital, 1967.
Final Show, Harrow Ceramics. Spitalfields, London. June 2012.
New Designers. Islington, London. June 2012.
The Graduate Show, Bevere Gallery, Worcester. January 2013.
Galerie Altena, Gorinchem, Netherlands. April 2013.
Made in Clerkenwell, (Outside exhibitor). London. May 2014.
London Potters Members’ Exhibition. London. November 2015.