I make my pots on the wheel using terracotta clay. My work is made considering proportion and functionality so that it is useful, comfortable and well crafted. Each pot is then a ready canvas for the layering of colour and drawings that characterise my work.
I use a white tin glaze and then paint on top of this with stains and oxides. This is a very old and traditional technique called Maiolica. In my decorating process I build up layers of colour and texture with mark making as well as painting freehand onto the surface. I am influenced by printmaking, collage and botanical water colour to create the illustrations. All of my pigments and underglazes are mixed by hand in order to have an infinite palette of subtly different hues
I am an avid sketchbook user and have several of different sizes on the go at all times. I take a lot of photos while out on walks to work from, as well as using reference books. I try to abstract the literal image until a recognisable but stylised version of the plant is achieved.
The sgrafitto markings (scratched through the clay or glaze) create texture and reveal the red clay beneath and I have made my own tools for this. The details are all drawn freehand onto the pot leaving little margin for error. I feel like the spontaneity of drawing freehand is an important part of the process. This also means that every pot I make will be subtly unique.