Sliding Rock Contemporary Ceramics, An Ceardlann, Craft Centre, Spiddal, Co. Galway, Ireland. Ceramics Ireland, Irish Ceramics

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My training in ceramics started at the C. N. I. F. O. P. (Centre National d Initiation de Formation et de Perfectionnement de la Poterie et du Gres) in the Puisaye in central France, an area with a history and tradition of producing stoneware pottery. After working with some established potters I set up my own workshop near Perpignan, France, and worked as a studio potter for 10 years before moving to Ireland where I have been working as a potter for nearly 2 years. I make mainly functional pottery: ash-glazed stoneware; glazed porcelain and smoke-fired earthenware. I like to make pots which will be used and which will enhance the small pleasures of life a bowl which is pleasant to see to handle and to drink from I believe that the feel, weight and the balance of a pot are as important as its visual aspects. Definitions such as art , design , and heritage do not feel appropriate to me.

Art denies the practical and functional aspect of pottery (you don t put art in the dishwasher). Design implies a predetermined finished product, not leaving room for the spontaneity of a good pot and variations inherent in its making. Heritage implies something fixed and limiting whereas the traditions of pottery are vast and varied and a constant source of inspiration and renewal. So, my work is CRAFT, the exploration and mastery of which is a constant challenge and pleasure.

The physical and sensual nature of the work is important to me and I hope that this gives my pots individuality: I enjoy handling and throwing the clay; gathering and experimenting with materials for glazing and firing and ultimately submitting the pots to the kiln, the heat and the flames. In this society of mass production I hope to make some simple, sober, beautiful pots, whilst working with the skills of a craft, which dates back 1000s of years.

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