In my early twenties I attended Further Education College for a year course in ceramics, drawing and weaving before entering University to study Design. After achieving a Bachelor of Design at S.A.C.A.E in Adelaide I returned to further education, achieving an Associate Diploma in Ceramics Design, specialising in Throwing. I was fortunate to work alongside Lincoln Kirby-Bell and Chantal Duffy, fellow Aussie potters who, like myself, came to London in the early 90s. We sold our work in Camden Lock Market together and made pots throughout the week at Archway Studios in Bow, East London. Observing Lincoln’s technique with the slip-trailer allowed me to see new possibilities for my own work and led me to find my own voice in the technique.
I also worked in St Mary’s Hospice where I ran the Arts and Crafts centre for 2 years. I returned to learning when I was forty to study a City & Guild certificate in Teaching Training and Community Leadership.
This led to working in many schools, community halls and youth centres developing clay projects. In 2004
I worked as support tutor at Morley College further Education before securing a permanent position in 2007 as a Ceramics Tutor teaching, ‘Beginners including Mixed Levels’,’Intermediate & Advanced Levels’, Introduction toThrowing on the Potter’s Wheel’ and ‘Raku Glazing & Firing’ courses.
Working with clay
Time in the studio is precious. I cannot wait to start. It is my sanctuary. Time to indulge, play and create. I project an idea into the world and then resolve it using clay. Once out of the bag onto the wheel, the clay is on its journey through many processes from turning the foot-ring, attaching the handles, knobs, lugs, to decorating with slips using the trailer, brush and dipping; the clay dictates. the timing and as long as I stay open to this I can capture balance.
I'm fortunate to have gained practice through working as a production potter. With this comes knowledge and through this I have gained confidence. I am always learning, however. I’ve realised I have become more real and honest in my work, catching experiences as I travel the fine threads to wherever they lead. I enjoy the rhythm of production, the timing, the craftsmanship involved and the final opening of the kiln!
I have been selling my pottery during the Pullens Yard Open Studios since 1995. Held twice a year I have gained regular buyers with many becoming friends. I enjoy meeting my audience and being a part of people's lives through my pottery. When I arrived in London in 1989 I sold my wares in Camden Lock, Spitalfields Market and in small shops throughout the UK. I’ve exhibited my work to trade customers at Top Draw in Earls Court, which introduced my work to international clientele as far as Germany and Japan.
Find out more about Iliffe Yard here
Find out more about Pullens yard here