Artists biography: At school I loved art, but the combination of having an uninspiring art teacher and the need for a career with a guaranteed monthly paycheque, I studied to become a radiographer. Over the years I became increasingly unfulfilled with the lack of creativity in my job so I decided to teach myself to paint, and gradually started selling my work in galleries and online, and began doning work for publishing companies. My love of animals, domestic and wild, influenced my artwork, and a few years later, an impromptu ride through a little village about 15 miles from home, found me browsing around alittle pottery studio and gallery, and to my delight, they held weekly pottery classes. After a year or so, my work improved in leaps and bounds and was receiving lots of commissions. This is when I decided to take the plunge and set up my own studio, complete with brand new kiln, and I haven't looked back since.
As with my paintings, my sculptures are of the four legged variety, and I try to inject an element of fun and quirkyness into them. I want them to have a cute expression on their faces, and not to look like they have been made in a mould. Therefore, I try not to smooth out the clay too much, so that there is lots of texture., and I don't mind the odd little crack here and there, as these imperfections add to the handmade look of the sculptures.
I work with stoneware and porcelain clays. After my sculptures have been bisque fired I apply the colours in the form of oxides, underglazes and limited application of glazes. I prefer my animals to have a matt finish and glaze is only applied to areas such as the eyes. The sculptures are then fired again to 1250 degrees for about 10 hours. We have a couple of scruffy Lurchers who inspire my sculptures, as do the hares that we see on our daily walks. I can't imagine a life without my dogs and doing the things I love most which is painting and sculpting.
Although I'm self taught, so are many artists including famous ones, and I feel that if you have some natural talent, this can be nurtured by practice and determination.