Quite simply, I love taking a lump of clay and shaping it into a great looking functional item.
I sometimes find having no idea what I’m about to make the most interesting way to work; almost letting the clay do what it wants rather than me forcing into a form. I just guide it on its way. Yes, if I need a bowl or mug I’ll make a bowl or mug but the fun is in experimenting.
I make pottery because I love to create usable items: mugs, plates, bowls, dishes or anything else that can be used and held on a daily basis. There is so much mass produced, soulless table-, and kitchenware out there that handmade items with real character bring life to your table and home. My kids tell me their food and drink tastes better from the bowls and cups made by their dad, and I have to agree. My wife says she can almost ‘feel’ that I am the person who made the item and that’s an amazing feeling.
I’m a fan of earthy textures and shapes and use these influences in my pottery. At the same time, I also love bright, vibrant colours and use different glazing techniques for decoration to bring my work to life. For me, it’s all about seeing what works: sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, but the fun is in the trying.
I like to recycle as much clay as possible. You know how it is, paper, metal, plastic, clay… it’s the obvious next step. Old clay which would be wasted from the throwing and turning is given an entirely new life. Some of my finished items starting life as a completely different thing, then for one reason or another they just didn’t make it to its first firing. I like to see my bucket of waste clay as a bucket full of promise of things to come.
I’ve worked as a web and graphic designer for over 15 years. Humble beginnings with paper and pencil as a child led to illustration with some work published in later years. The dawn of the internet took me into digital design where I still work today. I also like to dabble in other creative projects, you can see a recent bass guitar refurbishment in my blog.
I’ve been actively playing one instrument or another since 1984. I had played before then but only the usual guitar lessons at school and that sort of thing. I’ve been a baritone player, a sousaphone player, a trumpet player, a slide trombone player, an electric bass player and a pianist. I have been playing the slide trombone regularly now for the past 10 years and really enjoy it. These days though I’m primarily a bass player.
I’ve been really lucky to be involved with bands and organisations of a high calibre and in many genres from marching band to rock band and have had some great successes with them. I’ve performed in some
amazing venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Stadium (the original one) and loads of others around Europe, Canada and the USA. I’ve also played with some great musicians and hope to go on doing it for many years to come.
The most successful organisation I’ve been a member of is the Bristol Unicorns Showband with whom I won the World Show Band championships back in 1985. We were also winners of the BYBA British Youth Band Championships and league for many years and the list could go on and on… Take a look at the Unicorns website for more information on what was accomplished by the band and the fantastic people who were behind it’s success.
The biggest departure from my brass playing roots was to be the bass player for Bristol rock band Backlash during the 90’s. We composed a lot of our own music and played in many of Bristol’s best “rock” venues. We even won a Battle of the bands competition in 1997/8 (can’t quite remember).