2019 Essential Artist Award
I have worked with clay for almost fifteen years. Making and living with pottery for this length of time has shown me the simple power of everyday objects. As a result my practice has evolved to include more and more mixed media objects. These objects derive from the everyday – brooms, combs and chairs for example –
but they do so with a sculptural intent, to highlight the simple inherent beauty of useful things and the materials they are made from. I am drawn to natural materials, such as linen, leather, wood and bone, for their minimal textures and colors and their natural processes – mildewing fabric, shrinking leather, and cracking or worn wood. These markings, paired with my own process markings – pulled stitches, puncture holes, or brush lines, provide most of the decoration in my work. My aesthetic draws from my cultural lineage, blending the crudely-hewn functionality of pioneering North America – bread bowls, troughs and baskets, with the simple, clean lines and minimalism of Northern Europe, and the odd, small homage to the textile arts of Britain’s Romantic past. While I continue to maintain my ceramics practice I have been working to shift the balance of my practice towards this sculptural work, working more with mixed media, particularly leather and wood.