Cross-current: – 1. a current in a river or sea flowing across another current. 2. a conflicting tendency moving counter to the usual trend.

These two pieces – Cross-currents and Sea Passage feel in some way separate from my other work despite all the elements having been used in earlier work. The specific mix of textured black clay and smooth white paper clay and use of impressed materials to create surface pattern and texture were used in pieces such as Thorn I and II. The sea motif and use of detritus from previous makings is apparent in Sea Change I and II and Sea Bite.

So perhaps it’s the ideas behind the work that were changing and that I have further developed in my most recent work, Faultlines, making these pivotal pieces, and that is why the name Cross-currents seems so apposite.

On a different note when I exhibit Cross-currents, unless it is very strongly spot lit I think I may need to provide a torch so the interior can be seen. I have included some interior views here and if you look closely at the third one you can see signs I have a little visitor!


‘Longère’ is a paper-clay piece I made while working towards the Mission Gallery Maker in Focus exhibition ‘After the Firing’, but I felt it didn’t fit within that body of work and so it wasn’t exhibited. ‘Longère’ was prompted by memories of holidaying in France in my in-laws home when my children were young.

The handprints reference several aspects of our time there – the girls playing, painting and making in my mother-in law Jean’s studio, the fact that all the family had a hand in renovating the house, our visits to caves filled with art and hand prints.

‘Longère’ alludes to memory, dream, a sense of place and space, and to the passage of time. I thought about calling the piece ‘Dream House’ but this has other connotations that are not so apt. So ‘Longère’ or ‘Long House’ with its connotations of time and longing (in punning English anyway!) perfectly sums up my feelings of nostalgia for both the place and that time in my life.


Thorn Forms

Thorn l and Thorn ll are some of the final pieces I made towards the Maker in Focus exhibition at Mission Gallery. They are something of a return to the tree motif I initially envisaged as the major element within this body of work, before the sea took over.

ceramic form
Thorn l – Vulcan Black and White Paper Clay.

I used cuttings from the dying hawthorn hedge in my garden (courtesy of a neighbour spraying brambles on their side!) and pressed them into the clay slabs while the clay was still relatively soft.

The forms appear largely urban/industrial but were also influenced by a thorn bush I came across some years ago that had been sculpted by the wind, and perhaps sheep and deer, into an almost perfect cuboid – just a few stray twigs straggled out of one top corner.

thorn bush
Not the cuboid thorn but there’s still a boxiness to this.

The use of white paper clay alludes to the lichens I found on many of the wind blown trees around the coast as well as on the old oak trees in my local park, Parc Coed Bach.

ceramic form
Thorn ll

But will it get through the firing?

These photographs show that, despite the headlong rush to cover as much land as possible with new-build, there are still some truly liminal, and surreal, sights/sites to be found in Pontarddulais.

bath edge

In the meantime some works at different stages – biscuit fired and raw.

work in progress

work in progress

work in progress - raw

But will it get through the firing?