I have been interested in pottery for a long time and started taking evening classes in Brighton in the mid 70's as relaxation from work. I quickly realised that I enjoyed the constraints of throwing on the wheel over hand-building. During the next twenty years I attended evening class sites from Woodingdean to Portslade. In 1996 I also joined Chris Lewis at South Heighton pottery, initially for an evening class once a week, with occasional days in the summertime. In 2005 I started part-time at the pottery, coinciding with retirement from biology. I find the process of throwing and making items, primarily for use in cooking and eating, both absorbing and satisfying. Subsequent reduction firing in a gas kiln provides a procedural uncertainty that is challenging and kiln openings that are exciting.
In 2013 I started to develop plans for a pottery workshop in my garden and so did not make pots for a couple of years while preparing the workshop.
Technical: 2005 -2013 I have always been interested in wood-ash glazes, particularly those that generate chun effects. The colours observed depend on glaze thickness and the composition of the underlying layers. While with Chris Lewis we tried a range of wood ash in a recipe from Michael OBrien. These glazes gave a colour range of greys, greens and blues, to white, depending on the slip underneath, the relative thickness of the slip and glaze layers, and the firing conditions. My pots were mostly fired in a natural gas kiln, but I also helped to fire the wood kiln at South Heighton, currently an anagama kiln.
2015 onwards: I now have a propane gas kiln, built and installed by Northern Kilns. The clay I use is a mixture of two commercial clays (from Hesketh Pottery Supplies) fired to cone 10 in a reduction atmosphere. I mostly use a high iron slip or a white slip, though I am starting tests on a slip made with clay from Penarth. I have also started using porcelain, making bowls, storage jars and some chess sets.