About the work
I make saltglazed domestic pots, specialising in teapots together with jugs, mugs and cups of varying shapes and sizes. These have been steadily evolving since 1998 when I started experimenting with open handles as an alternative to the closed loops conventionally used in ceramics. The handle continues to be the starting point for my designs which are otherwise influenced by my early interests in aviation and the precision of engineered objects, alongside a more recent interest in contemporary architecture and the way architects approach the task of designing their particular functional objects
My aim is to make functional and visually arresting pots that have a sense of movement and balance for both the hand and eye to appreciate. The ergonomics of the pot and the clarity of its form are equally important for me: for a design to be successful the pot must be satisfying and pleasurable to use, whilst at the same time having the power to hold the viewer’s attention and interest
Most frequently in thrown pottery the sense of movement is generated by the quality of the throwing, evidenced by throwing marks or induced asymmetry. For these teapots of mine, however, it’s the articulation of the handle and spout and the relationship between them that I use in my efforts to achieve this. This also means I can throw and turn the bodies to express the precision like qualities I want without losing the pot’s overall energy in the process.
Looking at architecture has helped me construct a set of criteria and standards by which I judge my work and plot its development. Bridges such as Santiago Calatrava’s Alamillo Bridge in Seville, and Norman Foster’s Millau Viaduct combine beauty with function; buildings like the Sydney Opera House evoke differing associations in the minds of their visitors as a result of their complex and ambiguous shapes; and projects like Kansai Airport built on hydraulic jacks to accommodate the settling of its manmade island base show great ingenuity in their engineering solutions. It is qualities like these that excite me in functional objects of all kinds and which I look to infuse my own work with.