14th July 2022
LoveClay c/o Valentine Clays
Private Viewing – Thursday 14th July 2022
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Exhibition runs from Monday 18th July to Friday 9th September 2022
I am a Book Artist, Weaver and Spinner, making Journals, Sculptures and Textile Art, which incorporates my love of the Sea and all the wonderful treasures it provides. Beach-combing for me started in childhood, with an excitement for anything I found washed up on the beach, be it shells, stones and especially the many colours of sea glass. Many hours would be spent on the Beaches of the Llyn Peninsula, during my summer holidays, collecting Neptune’s Treasure as my Aunt referred to it. This love of beach-combing has stayed with me all my life, and now I have discovered many beaches on the East Coast, Staithes, Whitby, Scarborough, Beadnell Bay, and my particular favourite Sands End. In the beginning the glass I collected was used a lot in jewellery and wind chimes etc, till I found a way of using it on the books that I make, back then I made wooden covers, and cut out little windows to incorporate the glass or stuck the pieces of glass onto the covers. I met Brian over 11 years ago, and he introduced clay into the equation, providing me with a new way of using much more of the sea-glass, which melts into the clay with amazing effects. I make the front covers of my journals with the sea-glass fired into clay, whilst the back covers I make by spinning and then weaving yarn, I am inspired by the colour’s of the seashore. Binding the pages in between the covers using a Coptic Binding stitch. I love to use clay in my sculptural pieces as it gives me unlimited scope to make forms that will work well with my papers. I have never lost the excitement of beach-combing and whenever I am near the sea I will spend as much time as possible in my searching.
Clay is the most plastic of media. It responds to my touch whether I push it, pull it, tear it apart, press it etc. it is nothing if not a vehicle for tactile expression. My journey with clay has taken me in lots of directions. Not for me rows of objects very similar in appearance and supposedly evincing a gradual development. I must go wherever life and clay take me, sometimes making large figurative pieces, sometimes tiny, hand held yunomis, but all dominated by the physicality of the material. Finger prints are not to be hidden but celebrated as evidence of a human touch. For ten years I fired, along with other members, of the Rufford wood firing Association- of which I was a founder member- the large Anagama kiln built by John Fellows. I also was lucky enough to have a 2 month residency at Rufford ceramics centre funded by the Arts Council, where I was able to fill the kiln with large figurative pieces. When the Rufford ceramic Centre closed down we were given an opportunity to build other wood firing kilns at Thoresby Country Park. So for 20 years my work was dominated by wood firing and reduction. I have been in my present Studio at Yorkshire Art Space for over 20 years and all my ceramic activity is now based here. Work is either fired in a small gas kiln or more frequently in an electric kiln, multi firing and layering glazes. I recently was granted a small award to explore earthenware, and have begun to use coloured slips again. So another new road on my journey with clay as the vehicle.