BiG QUESTION

Do you see yourself as an artist or a craftsperson and what is the difference in your mind?

Like Warren MacKenzie I’m interested in utility, and I make things for people to use every day. The process of throwing a bowl or plate is an act of creation and beauty, and that process is repeated by the owner when they set their table or serve their friends a meal.

What clay do you prefer?

I’ve worked a lot with porcelain, and stoneware – I’m currently very excited about the Red Clay with Grog 108 (from Standard Clay). It’s a high-fire (Cone 10) clay with medium sized grog and sand, which makes the material very stable and gives it a rustic feel. It has a lot of iron in it, and even with an electric kiln and oxidation firing I can get close to the effect of reduction firing, or a wood-fired finish.

What motivates you at the wheel?

I love the rhythm of the wheel – I’m currently working with a treadle-style kick wheel that my father and I made from a Bernard Leach studio pattern. The rhythm of the wheel, the kinetic rotation, carries the work from piece to piece. I love getting in the groove and making multiple matching pieces in a single session at the wheel.

Your colors are very earthy and natural, but many of your pieces have a crystallized pattern in them. How is that achieved?

Glazing is something of a magical process to me, and I think to most potters, and I’ve been experimenting for years with different glazes and kiln settings. I’m currently working with micro-crystalline glazes which give that matte to glossy pattern.