There follows a short biography detailing how I first became interested in working with clay while at Fairwater Comprehensive, Cwmbran, now Cwmbran High School in the early 1980’s.
The school had a large electric kiln so I was encouraged to make large stoneware coiled pots inspired by Lucie Rie, others included large cider jars and bottle forms.
Being well supported, I gained an ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level in Ceramics, and went on to do a years foundation course at Newport College of Art, followed by a degree course at South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education, School of Art and Design Cardiff (now Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Art and Design) obtaining a 2.1 in 1988.
The degree show consisted of a number of coiled earthenware ‘exo-skeletal’ forms of various sizes, partly inspired by crustaceans, aquatic microorganism structures and insects, they explored the possibilities of the coiling method. The degree show was exhibited in a London gallery resulting in a sales.
After completing the degree course I decided to take a break from clay, and managed to get a job as a medical research laboratory technician in my other area of interest, Biology, with the University of Wales College of Medicine, now Cardiff University School of Medicine, but I was always interested in return to working with clay at some point in the future…
The years past, and during a brief period in 1994 I set up a studio in my spare room, and wired an electric kiln into the kitchen of my two up two down house in Pontypridd! A number of earthenware coil built pots were produced during my spare time that were inspired by the shapes of ancient Greek krater vases, and techniques used while on the degree course. Inevitably things didn’t work out, and work with clay ceased again…
I became more involved with my full-time job and was well supported there too, allowing me to study further, and obtain a HND in Applied Biology in 1999, and eventually a Masters Degree in Medical Research in 2007. As a result of working on many different medical research projects over the years , I have been lucky enough to be co-author in a number of papers in top scientific research journals.
However, by late 2013 I began to realise something was missing, and began investigating how I can re-engage with clay after so many years.
After failing to make things work in my spare time, and after lots of thought and consideration, I decided after a break of 27 years to return to clay and devote some time to setting up my own studio in February 2016.
Biography to be continued…