Originally I wanted to be a motorbike mechanic, but my dad pointed out that I would
end up spending all my time fixing humdrum scooters and only occasionally would I
get to work on a Norton - a demoralising thought. So taking his advice I chose a
career which I love to do all of the time and have saved the bikes for a hobby.
There isn’t one part of making that I like best. The enjoyment for me comes from
solving the problem - and then creating the problem a different way so that I can
re-solve it! Clay is immediate - within seconds of handling it you can produce something
- the trick is then to develop and finesse it. The essence of my work can be seen
through the progression of the pot through the clay and the glaze melding into one
piece -I like to be true to the raw materials and my nature is to ensure that things
are “done right”.
For me there is no distinction between my functional ware and other ornamental pieces
- the same effort goes into making the knobs on my bowls and salt shakers as it does
putting intricate handles on large jars - it’s the same amount of thought - just
a more rapid turnover... The difference between a £12 mug and a £400 jar is just
that the jar is more scary when I put it in the kiln!
Fascinated by wheels for the last 40 years, I’ve had Leach kick wheels, Shimpos,
Brents, Radcliffes, Triumphs, Moto-Guzzis, apart and back together, working and modified
to suit me. Pushing the technical aspects of machines to their maximum, excites,
intrigues and informs me. Specialising in High Fired utilitarian ware, I’ve been
known to get carried away with clay and glaze additions. Less is most definitely
I’m a non-academic potter... At school I could either do something or I couldn’t
- it didn’t matter how hard I tried to swot up. So fairly early on I learnt to focus
on the skills that I was fortunate to be good at. Luckily for me my teacher at Macduff
High School - Nan McColl - was an inspiration as well!