There is nothing fast about any part of my making process.
The first step involves a visit to the brick plant where I get the clay that I use to make my work. Fine, strong, and wonderfully malleable, this is a prince among clays, and one of the most superb earthenware clays in the world. I am truly fortunate to be able to use this gorgeous Nova Scotia clay which is such a pleasure to work with.
Sketching, drawing, and consideration of colour, design, and surface treatments are essential parts of the process.
I use several forming techniques. Initially either handbuilt from slabs or thrown on the potter's wheel, the forms are then altered from their original shapes and combined with various other parts in the construction of a single piece.
The pieces are then coated with slip, a liquid white clay the consistency of melted ice cream. This is done by either dipping the piece in the slip or painting it on the surface with the softest of brushes.
Once this voluptuous coating has dried somewhat, to the consistency of a chocolate bar, the decoration process can begin.
I draw my designs through the slip revealing the red clay body beneath. This sgraffito technique provides a strong outline for painting numerous colourants and materials, each applied with a particular effect in mind. Some are stiff and solid, others melt and flow.
Each step is careful and considered, each step has to be carried out when the piece is at exactly the right consistency.
The piece is then slowly dried, fired once, glazed with a sumptuous clear glaze, and fired again.
The overall effect in the finished piece is one of rich layering, of building up and drawing through, of a complex surface where all the parts relate to the whole. It's a time consuming process taking approximately six weeks from start to finish.