I first started making pots at evening class whilst working for Southwark Social Services, though my career as a maker probably began at the age of 7 when I made my first Airfix model whilst recovering from chicken pox. From this I graduated to become an enthusiastic maker of high performance model gliders, utterly absorbed in their construction, and thrilled by their serene and silent patterns of flight. With this seeming to point to a career in aviation I went to Manchester University to do a degree in Aeronautical Engineering but soon realised that life in industry was not what I was after. After graduating I took a year off to travel in southern Asia, returning to train as a social worker and embark on what became a 20 year career as practitioner, manager and finally university lecturer.
Initially these evening pottery classes simply provided an opportunity to unwind after work and immerse myself again in the pleasure and satisfaction of making. However as my interest developed I started attending short courses and summer schools and eventually, having discovered during this time the enjoyment of throwing and the magic of saltglazing, I was accepted onto the Workshop Ceramics degree course at the University of Westminster (Harrow).
Three years at Harrow helped me develop a capacity to conceptualise and reflect on what I was doing as well as acquire the skills for designing, making and firing work. Here I discovered the architecture of Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry amongst others and I began using the wheel as a tool for making thrown shapes that could be cut and distorted to become components for assembly into final, architecturally influenced, forms. I built kilns with fellow saltglaze addicts and adapted the castable recipe we used in their construction to create a porcelain concrete body which I cast into corrugated plastic moulds. I had found in ceramics the professional stimulation that 25 years earlier I had hoped a career in the aircraft industry would provide me with.
I graduated with a first in 1997 and the following year set up my present workshop at Baas Farm Studios, a community of makers and artists housed in former farm buildings in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.