Has being a chef informed your pottery?
No. I always thought I would be able to combine food and functional ware, but my love of ceramics is not really in functional ware. I feel there’s something in me that wants to come out in my work, and every time I try and force it in another direction, it never works.
How would you define your work?
As well as being about my own personal journey, it’s about trying to relate the forms to the land that I am living on. The textures that I see in the land – created by climate and erosion and the passage of animals and human beings – also develop in the clay that I am using.
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How did you come to prefer hand-modelling to throwing?
I had a condition called frozen shoulder, which meant it was very painful in my shoulders and I couldn’t throw. So that’s when I developed a technique that I am using now. I start with a solid piece of clay and I facet it with wires and then texture it and stretch it by working it from the inside.
What do you like about the firing process?
There’s an element of surprise, because you’re not in control of it entirely, and I like that. When you are using a natural material, there is a joy in seeing how the material wants to work, and as a craftsperson some of the skill and technique comes in allowing that to happen.