I first became interested in clay as a teenager and when I was 16 took lessons at the Auckland Studio Potters, but it wasn’t until I started studying ceramics at UNITEC in 1994 that I realised it was a lifelong occupation. In 1998 I graduated with a bachelor in 3D design, majoring in ceramics and since then I have been working as a studio potter. I was also the Co-Director of the Auckland Studio Potters from 2000 to 2006 and was the Manager of the Waikato Society of Potters from 2008 to 2012.
I love to experiment with new clays and since moving to Rahu Road I have been using clay from my land – a rich, wild Coromandel clay. I respond to the different characteristics of the clays, seeking out qualities that I enjoy when throwing pots on the slow moving treadle wheel.
My firing methods of using a wood kiln and spraying a small quantity of soda ash solution in at high temperatures creates the variegated flashings and speckled glaze patterns – different on each piece. The combination of the clays and the firing process is why I get such rich surfaces on my functional work.
Another strand to my working process is a fascination with the technological side of making permanent objects out of clay; this translates into experimentation with materials and firing methods. I construct kilns out of various unlikely materials and in diverse configurations in an effort to explore how contained fire behaves.
Teaching has been a mainstay of my working life, providing both a steady income and a rewarding, challenging and inspirational livelihood. I have taught many classes from beginner through to tertiary level, from short workshops to year-long courses.
I like to travel and use the freedom of unplanned excursions as liberating and eye-opening experiences; a way to re-examine ideas and situations that leads to new approaches and influences in my work.