I began to make pots at school. The art room, and the art teacher, provided a quiet calm space, which became an oasis of contrast to the noise and chaos of boarding school life.
I went to Harrow Art School in the early 1980s, chosen mostly because it had a crèche, and found a course that was intensely practical as well as having wonderful tutors.
I use porcelain to make all my work; it can be thrown very thinly but is a strong durable material, which will last forever. Mostly my work is functional, bowls, cups, dishes, vases, candlesticks and jugs; everything is made to be used. Occasionally I branch out and make an installation.
I make things in small batches, a dozen mugs at a time, three or four large bowls, a group of vases. I love throwing but can’t do it in public for some reason. Although it has become a process where my hands work almost automatically, I still have to concentrate and sometimes find that I’m holding my breath. It’s a fraction of the entire process, followed by turning then painting – sometimes done in three stages, - then the first firing, followed by glazing (my least favourite process) and then the glaze firing. I would guess that from wedging up the clay to taking a finished, glazed pot from the kiln, that each piece is handled for a separate process, at least a dozen times.
For a long time I didn’t use much of own work at home but now I do. I have cups, bowls and dishes in use every day so I can confidently say that that everything goes in the dishwasher.
***We're looking forward to Philippa's ceramics arriving very soon!***
Commissioning a piece of work is really exciting – it is a chance to have something made especially for you and an opportunity to really engage in the creative process.
Perhaps you need accessories to go with a particular outfit or a piece of furniture to fit a specific space in your home. We can work with you to design something truly unique. You’ll be able to discuss your ideas, likes and dislikes with the Maker and together create a piece of craft, handmade for you.
This is just a first step, so don't worry, there’ll be plenty of chances to discuss details before finalising a commission.