about me

I have been working with clay most of my life after first discovering the wonders mud could do as a child. I dug a piece of clay up from my garden when I was about 11 years old. Reddy brown and messy I began molding it into the shape of a horse’s head. Pleased with what I had achieved I got a stone from the garden and began rubbing the surface until a beautiful sheen appeared, I was later to learn that was a age old technique called burnishing often used by ancient tribes, one I still use today with the same enthusiasm and pleasure. I studied art at school and went on to study Ceramics, 3D Design and Photography at Art College. My work was developing a sculptural style, using white stoneware clay to produce a textured tactile surface I became aware of using light and shade to accentuate movement of form... I was hooked!

teaching

I began teaching Pottery in Adult Education in Bedfordshire, which included working in local day centers with adults with learning and physical disabilities and the elderly, which I found enjoyable and extremely rewarding. I am currently teaching adults Pottery, offering day, evening and weekend classes. I love my job I am so lucky to be able to do Pottery for work! It’s great to see people who come classes for the first time who usually haven’t touched clay since school days, get the pottery bug and return term after term expanding their knowledge and skills.

I teach all aspects of ceramics including: Throwing, handbuilding, glazing, mouldmaking, bodycasting, sculpture, raku 楽焼 (ancient Japaneses pottery traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, most often in the form of chawan tea bowls.) and Smoke firing.

If you'd like to join one of my classes email me at: mandart66@gmail.com

Smoke firing session

Keepers: After Dystopia

My inspiration for this piece was initially inspired by the decline of the Monarch butterfly, long before other recent publicised apocalyptic happenings, extinction rebellion and the awakening of the ‘common folk’. I felt the Monarchs anger and that translated into a vision of a tall and powerful ‘woman fly.’ who would transcend our impending doom to populate the new world by her imminent offspring which were exhibited as translucent eggs hanging off her wings and nearby trees.

The beginnings of the making this piece began with taking a full body cast of my daughter Tonia. Having been so busy with the Precious Earth Art Collective exhibitions and events which I founded 2 years prior, plus the inability to realise the rusty metal wings I had envisaged, the project was put on hold. Sometime later I was curating an exhibition, Anthropocene: Of Our Own making, my students wanted me to create something for it- Keepers was born!

I noticed there was a local metal sculptor Paul Pibworth on FB and arranged to meet him in the pub. Having presented him with a scribbled image on a napkin, Paul was keen to be part of the project and make the wings. It was at this stage, whilst working on designs, Keepers took on a sense of the ‘crucifixion.’ Never a wordsmith suddenly a poem poured out of my mind and on the paper, which was later recorded by the wonderful Ghost of Songs artist Polly Wright. At an event I was organising Anthropocene: Keep It Green, a well- known speaker, philosopher, and green party politician Dr Rupert Read began his presentation. It was uncanny, Rupert spoke of this civilisation being finished (which would become the title of his next book) and a new race taking over. Outside the marquee Keepers stood, watching, and listening, overseeing the presentation that sung her oh so poignant song-people laughed.

Keepers new the truth, Keepers is the truth.

Keepers: After Dystopia

contact

If you'd like you join me in the studio or at one of my classes you can contact on the below:

email: mandart66@gmail.com

or

call: 07930 673908