My work is informed by the powerful landscape around me on the Isle of Skye. It has developed in response to a feeling of connection with the passage across the land of its inhabitants. The surfaces of the land erode by forces of climate and human intervention, but the substance of it remains constant and immutable. We scratch the land by our presence here, leaving traces of the past drawn across the landscape, which remain in ruined form, as monuments to the communities who worked the land.
The natural textures of clay are similar to the patterns of erosion and decay in the geology of the land. I am trying to achieve a tension between the spontaneous patterns of texture and the formality of a vessel form. I make mostly functional forms, boxes, bowls, jars, rather than direct representation of the landscape, because they are innately human vessels of containment. There is tension there too, between the natural and the human.
The pieces are made by hand building and throwing, texturing, stretching and carving. Colours are achieved using slips, oxides and glazes but most of all by the firing processes. I use raku firing for soft earthenware blacks and greys; wood firing for warm earth tones and glazed stoneware; saggar firing within the wood kiln for dark greys and glazed stoneware. This gives me a wide range of textures and densities of ceramic surface and body.
I studied at Central School of Art in the 1980’s and have been working full time in ceramics for the last 20 years on the Isle of Skye, always chasing texture.
The remoteness of the place, its inhospitable landscape and climate, the scale and majesty of the hills all resonate with people. In a world where nature is cowed and overwhelmed by human presence, this is a place where we can still feel insignificant. I try to give a sense of that in my work - the forces of nature, spontaneously formed textures, the unpredictable firing techniques, the acceptance of successes and failures.
Harley Gallery : Earth and Fire 2018 at Harley Gallery
June 22, 2018 to June 24, 2018
Highly textured hand built one off pieces, raku fired earthenware and wood fired stoneware.
Mostly sculptural/decorative with forays into functional.
Availability of Work:
Bircham Gallery, Norfolk www.birchamgallery.co.uk
Kellie Miller Arts, Brighton www.kelliemillerarts.com
Jetty Gallery, Oban, www.thejettygallery.com
Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen www.galleryheinzel.com
Timespan Museum & Arts Centre, Helmsdale https://timespan.org.uk/
Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London WC1 www.cpaceramics.com
Specialises in naked raku and fast fire wood firing (about 18 hours) with use of charcoal saggars.
Various clay bodies including porcelain and high iron content clay for wood fired work.
Highly textured, mostly unglazed, but some use of wood fire glazes.
- Studied at Central School of Art, London.
- Has lived and worked on Skye since 1995
- 2009 built kiln for wood firing. - 2011 was selected to represent Scotland at Philadelphia Museum of Art craft Show in their guest country program.
- 2013 work will be at SOFA Chicago represented by Craft Scotland
- 2015 Professional Member of Craft Potters Association
2017 American Crafts council flagship show Baltimore with Craft Scotland; Ceramic Art London; Earth & Fire
2016 Ceramic Art London; Earth & Fire
2013 SOFA Chicago, represented by Craft Scotland
2011 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, selected for Scotland in the guest country programme.
2010 An Talla Solais, Ullapool, selected ceramics show.
2009 Inchmore gallery, new work from the wood kiln
2007/8 Analach Inspirational, selected showcase of highland makers at the Scottish Parliament
2006 solo exhibition, An Tuireann Arts Centre
Craft & Design Selected Gold Award: Ceramics 2012