Ceramic artist using ancient techniques to produce one-off contemporary art works marked with smoke or fumes John’s interest in the arts, particularly the decorative arts of the late victorian and edwardian periods, never diminished...
... His ceramics collection includes work from this period and the interest also encompassed the early artist potters such as Reginald Wells, George Cox, and the Martin Brothers.In the 1990’s John’s interest took him to wanting to know about ceramic process, particularly reduction firing techniques. In part this interest was ’kindled’ following his purchase of a lustre ware charger by Alan Caiger-Smith and then reading Alan’s classic reference work "Lustre Pottery". John eventually found his way onto the Ceramics degree course on the Harrow Campus of Westminster University. This renowned training saw him working on a range of ceramic techniques but finally going right back to the basics of low-fired burnished clay, sometimes coated with terra sigilatta, and marked with smoke or fumes. The ‘naked raku’ process came to the fore early on where John found he could ’paint’ with the smoke using the reduction properties of the raku process (See the technical pages). John’s work was particularly enhanced by spending time with the master of this technique, David Roberts, at one of his summer workshops and, later through a grant from the Craft Pottery Trust, benefitting from the mentoring of Californian raku master, Eduardo Lazo. Inspired by the colours in rock formations, John has gone on to use other related techniques of fuming with vaporised chemical salts to bring colour into his work. John works now from his home which overlooks the sea in Worthing on England’s South coast. Images used in his work are often influenced by rough seas which hit the coast-line in winter, the storm clouds which gather, and the many ’found’ objects washed onto the beach. John’s other home, in the mountains of La Gomera , provides inspiration through the dark, wind-eroded cliff faces, clear star-lit nights, and the mountain forests. The work is truly 3 Dimensional with form, surface markings and texture each playing their part. Forms, whether vessel based or sculptural, are often derived from the human form. Markings may be figurative or abstracted from influences such as nebulae, eclipses, volcanic rocks or the cave drawings of our ancestors. Burnished surfaces - warming to the touch but as smooth as marble - using ancient techniques to give a truly contemporary experience.