Born in Stoke-on-Trent, I left school in 1960 aged 15 and went to Art College to gain enough experience to make an application for an an apprenticeship face painter of Doulton figurines. I loved the 1950s Beatnik/Bohemian Art School life style and continued to study painting until a summer job at Alton Towers theme park pottery made me want to carry on where my ancestors left off and become a potter. By 1970 I'd achieved an M.A. at the Royal College of Art and worked in York School of Art as a Lecturer until 1975, when I became a lecturer at Cardiff College of Art (now Cardiff Metropolitain University) In 2003 I left to concentrate 'full-time' on my work in porcelain.
Some people say my ceramics are like washed up sea creatures, some still alive, some remnants turning slowly to dust. Others see unidentifed objects from a far away galaxy, not sure whether they are organic or constructed, friendly or malevolent. My first experience as an artist was as a painter learning to paint classic illustrative images and then moving on to canvases that were purely abstract expressions of emotion through colour and texture. When I became a potter I carried this involvement with surface qualities through to my ceramics. Creating objects that are not just simply coated in glaze, but have an essential and inseparable relationship of form and surface. For over fifty years I have been compelled to make these curious forms. Usually they are vases but sometimes they don't have a name. Their creation has given me joy, despair, friends, money and backache. My work has been included in many international exhibitions and publications with Solo shows in London and New York. Examples are held in over forty-five museums and public collections throughout the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
I make all the parts of the pieces on the potters wheel creating a thick section to be trimmed and thinned with sharp steel tools once leather hard. Some pieces are textured by tapping the surface with a multi-pointed wire brush, ball-ended tools and various sticks. The fine characterless texture and whiteness of the porcelain gives a good bright ground to enhance the colour rather like a pure white canvas. I use an air brush to spray the surface of the forms with colour allowing me to build up overlapping layers of slip, glaze and oxides.