Why Ceramics or pottery?
As a teenager I attended a pottery club at school and that is when my love of clay began, making many objects some of which I still have and treasure. On leaving school at 18, my 37-year career as a nurse and then midwife began. However, my attraction to working with clay, making and art continued with many pottery evening classes during my twenties and early thirties. When bringing up our two children we had a lot of fun with art and crafts and I returned to pottery classes eight years ago. In 2018 I took early retirement to take up my place to study ceramics at university. I loved my midwifery career, however, it was time to commence the next chapter to develop my lifelong passion in ceramics. Midwifery, pottery and ceramic art are two professions which have accompanied our entire human history and for me they are interlinked. There is a permanency and quality of clay itself which eloquently illustrate many aspects of our humanity, for example fragility/frailty and strength. As a midwife I was privileged to be with women at a time of vulnerability but also of strength and hope, with accompanying risks and uncertainties. This material does not discriminate between the very skilled and those new to clay, something wonderful can be made with it by everyone and for me this joy and facility for expression is an integral part of my love of ceramics.
Clay can be used both to create functional objects such as bowls and pots as well as art which express and record many aspects of humanity from ancient frescos by the Babylonians to the present day and this diversity and continuum is part of the heritage of each one of us. The type of clay used can express much about our humanity as it has strength and fragility as well as the capacity of showing the marks of the maker and the methods of manufacture of things made from it.
I love shapes and textures from nature as well as geometrical and architectural forms. Expressing what is around us as well as qualities we have as humans has become an important part of my ceramics as well as continually developing my practical skills of throwing, hand-building, surface decoration and glazing. The joy experienced from making and sharing with others is an intrinsic part of my ceramics which is reflected in the diversity in the objects I make.