At school I loved art, but the combination of having an uninspiring art teacher and the need for a career with a guaranteed monthly pay cheque, I studied to become a radiographer. Over the years I became increasingly unfulfilled with the lack of creativity in my job so I decided to teach myself to paint, and gradually started selling my work in galleries and online, and began doing work for publishing companies. My love of animals , domestic and wild , influenced my artwork, and a few years later , an impromptu ride through a little village about 15 miles from home, found me browsing around a little pottery studio and gallery, and to my delight , they held weekly pottery classes. After a year or so, my work improved in leaps and bounds and I was receiving lots of commissions. This is when I decided to take the plunge and set up my own studio, complete with brand new kiln, and I haven't looked back since.
As with my paintings, my sculptures are of the four legged variety, and I try to inject an element of fun and quirkiness into them. I want them to have a cute expression on their faces, and to not look like they have been made in a mould. Therefore , I try not to smooth out the clay too much, so that there is lots of texture, and I don't mind the odd little crack here and there, as these imperfections add to the handmade look of the sculptures.
I work with stoneware and porcelain clays , After the sculptures have been bisque fired I apply the colours in the form of oxides, underglazes and limited application of glazes. I prefer my animals to have a matt finish and glaze is only applied to areas such as the eyes. The sculptures are then fired again to 1250 degrees for about 10 hours.
We have a couple of scruffy Lurchers who inspire my sculptures, as do the hares that we see on our daily walks. I can't imagine a life without my dogs and doing the things I love most which is painting and sculpting. Although I am self taught, so are many artists including famous ones , and I feel that if you have some natural talent , this can be nurtured by practice and determination.