I became a potter thanks to a fortuitous visit to Aldermaston Pottery. I was apprenticed to Alan Caiger Smith for four years and have run my own studios since 1987 - in Hampshire, America, France and, currently, Ewelme in Oxfordshire.
I have remained a potter all these years because I enjoy making pots and I am glad that other people enjoy using them. After years of working in majolica and firing in an electric kiln which became almost wholly predictable, I found it liberating to throw with stoneware and porcelain and to fire with wood or gas. Reduction firing involves the maker at every stage. As long as the success of a firing depends partly on the atmosphere in the kiln one can never predict with certainty what will come out of it but one can try to align the many variables inherent in the process. I love the making and the decorating but it is really the firing that intrigues me these days.
I am now working with a variety of carbon trap shinos; they are mysterious glazes - at their best, beautiful but elusive - and I have become obsessed by the desire to understand just what makes them sing ... when they do. As a maker, whether I am throwing or firing, I am always seeking that balance between the knowable which I can determine and the unexpected which gives the work life.