About Making Marx
" The quality of any piece of art is said to be decided before the pen or brush has been lifted, for it lies within each person, and the art that is produced is only as good as the spirit of the artist at the time it was made ".
Andrew Juniper 'Wabi Sabi :
The Japanese Art of Impermanence'.
is about transformation, liberation and joyful expression.
My background has not always been in Ceramics. For the past 15 years I have trained and worked as a psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher and this has undoubtedly shaped my interest in the relationships we form, with people and objects.
My aim then is to make pieces that beckon : get close, touch, relate. It is therefore just as important to me that a piece feels as pleasing to hold as it is to look at. This fascination with relatedness also extends to exploring the relationship between pieces, so I will sometimes make pairs, trio's or even families of work.
It is perhaps also this background that enhances my sense of appreciation for the therapeutic nature, and transformative potential of working with clay. I see this not only in its most literal sense of taking a piece of clay and transforming it into a thing of beauty but also in the way that it can transform our inner landscapes.
For me working with clay is an incredibly grounding experience allowing me to drop into a space which is more mindful and present. It is here in these magical, spacious moments that I feel I both lose and find myself.
For my work, I tend to use a variety of clays, at times favouring the smooth, pure coolness of porcelain and at others choosing something that has a more textural quality. Some of my work is thrown on the wheel whilst some is hand built using techniques such as coiling, pinching, and sculpting. Whichever method or clay I use depends largely on the piece and of course my mood at the time of making.
Much of my work is fired outside in a raku kiln which allows an element of uncertainty into the work. For me there is something truly liberating in setting the conditions and then handing control over to the elements. One has to be philosophical about this way of working as the results are often unpredictable but this brings with it not only the sense of delight when it works but also the potential to learn something about the work and ourselves when it doesn't.
For my work that is glazed and fired solely in an electric kiln I still favour the quietness of matte slips and glazes, simple lines, and minimal decoration. Therefore, whichever route my work takes it is always with the endeavour to make pieces that invite a sense of quiet contemplation and gentle appreciation.