My interest lies in the ancient past, both human and geological. A childhood playing around Bronze Age sites, digging clays, making bowls hardened in bonfires, searching for fossils and collecting stones, these experiences have shaped my ceramic practice of today.
I choose particular locations for their geological and human stories. Bog lands, ice age shorelines, basalt coasts all offering rich pickings in clays, organics, gravels and ancient stories. Human traces in the landscape shape both the look of the work and what it is made from-
Wheel thrown bronze and iron age forms are slipped in local clay, burnished and pit fired. An interest in a sustainable practice means fuel is sourced locally. From storm dumped seaweed and wind fallen trees, to using local woodworkers' shavings to fuel 3 day pit firings.
This ancient flame art marks the work with both historical and colour signatures of the landscape.
Recently my work has evolved to include wood fired pottery. Domestic ware and large moon jars are marked with ancient Irish rock art motifs which are eroded and weathered by fly ash and extreme heat. Work that hints of excavated finds from the ancient past.
It is important that my work is not just about a place but actually made from it, capturing the history and physical essence within a piece. It’s a collaboration between me and the land, resulting in serendipity of form, texture and colour. The relationship between man and the landscape is inseparable.
I work full time from my studio on the Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland. I exhibit regularly across Ireland and UK, attend local Craft events, offer pit firing workshops and make private and public commissions.