I work primarily as a ceramicist, although my work also includes painting and illustration. Working with a Limoges porcelain I make a white ceramic form; this becomes the canvas onto which I apply an illustration. Each individual piece is thrown and turned on a potter’s wheel, and is then hand painted. To decorate, I use my own technique, developed to echo my pen and watercolour illustrations. I start by making a freehand sketch directly onto the porcelain, drawing through paper impregnated with underglaze, leaving a 'printed' image on the form. I then apply washes of colour using ceramic stains, finally dipping each piece in a glossy, transparent glaze before the final firing.
I use ‘Limoges’ porcelain because I like the organic qualities of the clay when fired. The form remains soft and the clay turns to a creamy white colour. The forms and illustrations complement each other; both are fluid and spontaneous.
Each individual pot is illustrated with a scene from the British way of life, including summer holidays to Europe and beyond. I draw characters, human and animal, and often play around with multiples of pots to tell a story across a series. I follow themes such as bathers in a lido, seaside scenes with hungry gulls, naïve coastal houses and simple fishing boats, or local shops and markets.
The pots are intended to be whimsical - some are cheeky and some nostalgic, some reveal a hidden or taken-for-granted piece of everyday life. For me, the humour is in the context: I enjoy taking domestic scenes, recording them onto pots and then putting them back into domestic situations.