All the pots are made from varieties of stoneware and porcelain clay bodies, which I mix myself, and which range from near black to near white. All the clays have additions of very small quantities of a variety of grogs, which I also make myself. The grogs range in tonality from white porcelain through to heavily pigmented blacks. The grogs are graded for size as well as tonality. Any one object may contain several grogs differing in size, colour, and tonality. Metal oxides are used to pigment the grogs and the darker clay bodies.

I throw the pots to as precise a form as possible and finish the surface with a wooden rib to remove slurry. When they are leather-hard I trim them to finalise the form and surface.

The pots are then biscuit fired to about 970°C when I glaze the interior with a black matt glaze. The exterior surface is not glazed.

I use both oxidation and reduction in the second firing, which in both cases is between 1280°C and 1300°C. At this temperature all the clays I use become vitreous.

After the final firing, when some fused grog may stand up in slight relief on the surface, I smooth the surface to remove this physical texture, and polish selected areas to give a light-reflective quality.

The height of the pots in GALLERY ranges from the smallest, at 6cms, to the tallest at 38cms.


Though time consuming, I make the clay bodies and the grogs myself because mixing and varying these gives me control of the final visual quality of the objects. Likewise, firing in reducing or oxidizing atmosphere widens the resulting tonalities and colours of both clay and grog. Though primarily considered and made as three-dimensional, visual expressions I want the forms to be practical as vases. Because the clay bodies are vitrified it is not essential that the inside is glazed, so making the inside black is entirely a visual decision.