Studio open day and summer exhibitions

A busy few months as ever! Teaching regular classes, one off workshops, and other projects. I have a few pieces in progress, which will most likely be shown in the autumn.

The Festival season is underway in Edinburgh, and I’ll have some work on show in a couple of venues. Firstly the Union Gallery will be showcasing a group of pieces including some of my Souvenir from Medalta series.

I’ve just delivered some new pieces from the landscape series to the Saorsa Gallery, which will be on display for the next couple of months.

We will be having an open day and studio sale on the 20th August…details below. So if you’d like to take a look behind the scenes, now’s your chance! There will be older pieces for sale and we will also be having a raffle….


Work in 2016

I’ve been fairly quiet on this blog recently, after a (well needed :)) break over Christmas its been pretty full on at Cyan Clayworks with the new years course schedule and other tuition.

However I’ve got a few more pieces under way in the landscape series, images below.

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After these are finished I’ll be going back to some test pieces and maybe new forms and surfaces. I’ve been thinking about new pieces in recent weeks, and so will be focusing on reading, drawing, visiting museums and thinking about how to develop the landscape/seascape project. It can be the development time and decision making that takes the most time in a project, but is an essential part of making/creativity.

Forthcoming exhibitions

I’ve got a few exhibitions coming up, some of which will include my most recent work and some including work made earlier this year. Pieces from the ‘Souvenirs from Medalta’ series are in Contemporary Applied Arts, London for their show ‘Present and Collect’ which runs from Nov 19th to Dec 24th. This series of work was inspired by a residency at Medalta, Alberta, Canada in 2014.


Bottles from the ‘Souvenirs from Medalta’ series







Another group exhibition is in Devon, at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. ‘Make 2015’ runs from Nov 14th to early Jan. I’ll have some of my new pieces not yet exhibited; the landscape inspired sculptural vessels that I’ve talked about in earlier posts. (If you scroll through earlier posts you can see the work at different stages of development.) These non functional handbuilt vessels reference Scottish land- and seascapes, and have multiple layers of colour and imagery built up through painted and printed slips and glazes. Photographic decals are applied.

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I also have work at the Velvet Easel Gallery in Portobello, nr. Edinburgh for their Christmas show which opens this weekend- ‘Rock the Easel’.

There are pieces currently in Saorsa Gallery, Edinburgh. I will also be exhibiting in the Edinburgh Art Fair with the gallery 13th-15th Nov- some more of my new landscape pieces. (Which will be getting photographed this week!) . Here is an image of one of the pieces in progress a few weeks ago.


Landscape project

A few more images of work as its evolving through the different stages. Coil built, painted and printed with slips, glazed and then the decals applied. Have a few exhibitions coming up so will post the details soon.

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Landscape project

Its been a busy couple of months but now have a new project underway, which is using source material a little closer to home. It will reflect aspects of the landscape, drawing on various short trips to areas in Scotland over the last few months including Pitlochry and the fringes of Edinburgh.


Cramond Island walkway, Edinburgh


Portobello, Edinburgh


Coil building forms


Refining surfaces

Trying out a couple of different forms at the moment, and have the beginnings of the surface which will later include photographic decals.


Test pieces


Test pieces


Painted form


Painted form, and one in progress

Souvenirs from Medalta

Just a short post this month. Here are a few shots of the last few pieces from this series, in various stages of making.





These are coil built, and have layers of slips, and impressed marks and textures. Once these are finished, with glazes, decals and lustres, I’ll be starting some new drawings and test pieces.

I’ve also been working on my new website, which will be going live soon.


Souvenirs from Medalta

A few  more quick shots of recent pieces in progress in the series exploring themes of travel and memory, and referencing my residency in Canada last year. The last lot of work were a group of small plates. These were intentionally made quite quickly with a slightly less ‘finished’ feel, and allowing for movement to happen during firing and drying. Slabs were cut out freehand and textured, with some having marks cut right through the form.

Although on occasion I have debated whether or not to still make plates as they are so ubiquitous, I have since decided that this is actually part of their appeal and that its still possible to create something personal and hopefully unique.





Now that the studio will be less busy, I plan to make more work than in recent months. And also intend to make a new website…! Some of these pieces are currently in an exhibition in the And Collective Gallery in Bridge of Allan


Alberta project #2…update

Mid March already…! As the studio has taken up quite a lot of time the pieces in progress have been evolving more slowly than I’d like. But have a few finished pieces to date as part of my project reflecting on a trip to Canada last year. Which as yet is untitled….

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The forms as previously mentioned are based on some of the vessels in the collection and museum at Medalta. Alberta, Canada. This highly significant (and vast!) collection offers a snap shot of Alberta history, cultural change and a sense of place. They range from highly utilitarian items, to ornate vases, souvenirs and hotel ware.  For me they were a perfect starting point to reference, and a great vehicle to reflect the place now. The imagery is from the town of Medicine Hat, the surrounding landscape, museum objects and the site itself of Medalta.

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Like much of my previous work, it draws on nostalgia, memory and place, and specifics of travel experiences. I’d like it to reflect the scale, contrasts and extremes of the area, the space and sense of ‘otherness’ (which is a big part of travel experience).

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In terms of scale, the biggest pots are around 38cm high at the moment, and there are some smaller ones around 12cm high. They are handbuilt, have layers of slip and glaze, incised and drawn lines, decals and lustre.



Alberta project #2

Have gradually been getting back up to full speed in the studio over the last couple of weeks after a (much needed!) break at Christmas. Also a lot of planning, tidying and organising going on.

I’m revisiting the work I did in the summer in Canada and using some of the source material gathered. The main focus on this visit was the residency at Medalta- the Shaw Centre for Contemporary Ceramics which I blogged about previously. I’ve made work about Alberta before on previous trips- as partner Chris is from there originally we try to go across every few years. As a British visitor, its often familiar but simultaneously ‘foreign’. Its this aspect of travel that I find inspiring- being somewhere that is ‘away’ rather than ‘home’ feeds into my creative process in a big way. And a theme that I returned to several times.




This new project will look at the memory of travel experiences & landscape/cityscape, and how they can be revisited through visual material. There will of course be one or two taxidermy images featured!

I want this new work to have a more textured surface, so have started with some flat test pieces carrying out some initial experiments with the surface (below). Further imagery will be added later through decals which are being printed.

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Forms are based initially on some of the forms in the Medalta collection of locally made ceramics.

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Once I have some of the pieces fired, and have applied some decals to the test pieces, will post up some more images.