As far back as I can remember I have always been a maker. From a child making mud cakes decorated with petals, I have evolved into a potter who primarily loves making tableware. I love to make pottery for people to use; to enjoy, to hold, to enhance the presentation of food, particularly shared food. I love making bowls that feel good to hold, the glaze surface to feel smooth, rims to feel good to drink from and handles to be comfortable.
After 6 years as a High School teacher, in the 1980’s I balanced parenthood with ceramic studies at TAFE, then the University’s School of Art, where I gained a Diploma of Art, Craft and Design. At the same time I joined the Tasmanian Potter’s Society, with frequent workshops under visiting tutors being the source of much inspiration and knowledge. The late Matthias Ostermann, a Canadian visiting workshop teacher, brought to life for me the joys of earthenware as a decorative surface. In maiolica (colour decoration on a white glaze over terracotta) I found a medium compatible with my old kiln and my love of pattern and colour.
I am a founding partner of Off Centre, a cooperative in Salamanca Arts Centre. At first my main range was my maiolica decorated terracotta which I called “Terra Fiesta”. In this the “terra” is the clay, the “fiesta” the decorative glazed surface. This is a range of work I will keep returning to when colour and brushwork beckon.
In my “Blue and White” work, the thrown or slabbed surface is a canvas on which I apply the decoration –like a patch-worker sewing a quilt. This history of blue and white china is extensive, and I have always loved Ming vases, Delft, and my Grandmother’s willow plates. My creations combine these influences, with a modern and abstract twist.
Other work includes my “Indigo Mountain” series: terracotta bowls and platters with a layering of blue glazes, based on the Western Tiers around Deloraine where I grew up. I also work from time to time with Southern Ice porcelain – water etching with shellac over thrown forms, and drawing onto bisque with oxide pencil before firing.
I have a range of tiny “Endangered Species” pinched forms, many being raku fired with textured and iridescent panels and facets. Others are porcelain, pure and translucent or finely drawn on with oxide pencil. In making them I feel like the creator of an exotic rainforest plant or a delicate shell.
Since 2007 I have also been working with felt, primarily making scarves and hangings from dyed merino wool. In this, as well as in my pottery, pattern is the focus.
I teach pottery classes at my home studio in Lindisfarne as well as through Adult Education.
I can be contacted through Off Centre, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart (Phone 62248075) or through my website.