I am a ceramicist, born in Kenya, now living in Bristol after moving to the United Kingdom 10 years ago from South Africa. My work is inspired by the sensitive chaos of nature, whether a pod on the ground or tree towering above it, whether water or wind, the sky above me or the landscape that holds me. The sensitive chaos, that is mirrored in the relationships within the human animal family.
My vessels, once tamed from the wild and wise unpredictability of clay, undergo the most primitive of alchemical processes - buried in fire. A process of taming and shaping and releasing into the wildness of fire. Like the taming of the primitive wildness of the child by the mother and the father and being set 'free' into adulthood.
The clay I use is a mixture of rich browns or a more muted grey white stoneware, as well as a deep Terracotta earthenware, all with a medium to high grog/sand content, which allows the clay to remain flexible, open and porous and at times, without uniformity too. Paradoxically, this is the earth's ordered chaos and inevitable changing.
When these qualities are released into fire, it is the 'openness' of the clay that forms a receiving relationship with the flames and their fumes as matter burns and so, an alchemical process unfolds.
The hand building process, is for me the early and most profound part of the taming process and cannot be done with a rigid and controlling attitude. Clay is the earth. It is wise and old and young and because it holds such vast experiences and is continuously open to new ones, it is with a firm and nurturing respect that we work together and a shape is born.
Now that the taming process of the child by the nurturing mother is nearing the end, the sculpting process, which is masculine - the father, is more brutal yet kind. It is here at this point, that I still feel the clay's core wildness and desired independence. It is here at this point, that letting go is so hard.