I mainly work in stoneware clay - red earthenware is too sticky for the way I like
to make. Working clay to its vitrification point ensures that it has the same tactile
quality as the glazes that I use - through the whole piece being on the same “wavelength”
it maintains the philosophy of being true to the material.
What makes a ‘BCS’ piece....? It’s a technical thing - my work shows freedom but
tightness - it’s the mechanics which are important to me. Most of my customers won’t
analyse the pieces that they buy, but it is the things that they don’t see that make
a ‘BCS’ piece - the footring of a bowl, where the curve of the piece springs from
- the unseen parts have to be right to make the whole piece what it is.
I make my own glazes and don’t use artificially produced colours. By using natural
materials (copper, iron, cobalt, tin oxide, zirconium...) my range is limited - but
I don’t believe that I need that many colours to make an impact... And by decorating
onto a porous glaze soft surface the marks that I make have to be spontaneous!
One of my favourite things to make are teapots - it’s a mechanical equation putting
all the pieces together - a good teapot will make people smile, even if they don’t
realise why - it’s the balance of all the pieces fitting together that makes it work
as a single piece.
Like a little black dress, the simpler something is, then the more difficult it is
to put your signature on as an artist - hopefully you’ll enjoy my style....
I have often seen students make a nice pot and then be scared to decorate it in case
it ruins all their hard work - this reluctance often means that the decoration ends
up being too restrained and the pot loses something in the process. My decoration
comes from hard learnt confidence - the wrong brushwork can spoil a piece, but the
confidence of one big brushstroke can keep a piece alive by carrying through the
spontaneity from when it was thrown.