My first career was as a historian, and my art continues to be inspired by the past. I’m interested in objects passed down the generations – the material connection to past lives that they represent, and the feeling of intimacy and longing that they provoke. I make playful, ambiguous and meditative sculptural objects out of clay, glass and silver.
I use clay because it is a conjuror’s material: it can be smooth, rough, delicate, solid, fragile, white, colourful. It is also dependent on the fickle mercies of the kiln. The technical challenges and unpredictability of clay are integral to its appeal for me; it constantly forces me into new ways of thinking and experimenting. I am a technique magpie, combining traditional processes such as slip-casting with more modern ones such as laser cutting. I am also interested in testing the boundaries and bonds between materials, combining clay with metal and glass.
I have always been a ‘maker’ of sorts. I grew up in the kind of house where I could take for granted ready supplies of wire, wood, and tools. My father was an inveterate tinkerer, as well as a metallurgist by profession. I love the continuity of the fact I now also work with moulds, metal and furnaces, albeit after a long detour through academia and bringing up small children. I took my first concrete steps towards a creative career only in my late 30s. I completed an Art Foundation course at City Lit in 2018, for which I received a Distinction. I then undertook the year-long City Lit ‘Creative Practice: personal project’ course. I am now establishing my practice as an independent fine artist.
I have exhibited in various spaces around London, including the Menier Gallery and the Crypt at St Pancras Church. In 2019, I reached the finals of Handmade Britain’s ‘Identity’ competition, exhibiting in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. I am taking part in Cambridge Open Studios for the first time in July 2021.