work stems from the thought that the classical architectural decorative
pattern, the Vitruvian scroll, looks not unlike a little row of people
all heading off somewhere. So away I went and cast a small figure in
concrete. Shortly after, I found clay to be a far more suitable medium,
and I've been using it ever since.
With the stylized human forms, my aim is to portray character, mood or movement in the individual piece using a simple scroll. I allow myself a little licence with some, and add a bit of a nib to the back of the head, as this small device can cause a dramatic transformation.
Most of the animal forms are given the nib treatment, and some have subsidiary scrolls. This may seem to be getting away from my initial Vitruvian scroll idea, but I make the rules here. It's an evolutionary thing.
The architectural columns came about as a result of my desire to build some taller pieces, as their form is well suited to sectional construction.
My work has been influenced by a gradual assimilation of ideas rather than a series of ‘eureka' moments, for instance, many years working as an architectural model maker have probably had an effect on my style. For some years I shared a workshop within a boatyard, and this was full of old rusty machinery, pieces of aging timber, metal and other useful clutter, all this being a great source of ideas for form and texture.
Overall, my intent is to produce forms that are both visually pleasing and tactile, and so I have both of these qualities in mind during the whole sculpting process.
All pieces are stoneware and made from a mix of clays and sand which are fired in an electric kiln to 1200°C. The gritty textured surfaces are either finished using metal oxides, or coated with a metal powder, the latter gradually changing with the effects of moisture and temperature when sited outdoors.
I have been working as an architectural model maker and miniature figure sculptor since the mid 1980s, and started working in clay in 1996 when I joined a ceramics course at a local college.