Using stoneware clay, I hand build vessels based on the shapes of Greek urns. The inspiration comes from a visit to see ancient ceramics at the British Museum.
Before the first firing, I place an object that is relevant to the narrative of the vessel inside. This burns away and becomes a secret part of the vessel. After firing, I glaze the vessel with a matt off-white glaze.
The next process is lino printing around the top of the vessel with drawings that continue the narrative. I draw onto lino, cut it out with a blade and print with a special form of printing glaze. The vessel is fired for a second time. Finally, I transfer images using photographs that I have taken, onto the surface and fire for a third time.
The photographs can either tell a story of a life event or just be a decorative work of art, focusing on nature, landscapes or animals. One vessel I made had photographs of a couple taken throughout their forty-year marriage. The secret object that I placed inside before firing was a tiny piece of both their wedding outfits.
For my degree show, I produced a volume of work using photographic images transferred onto a number of my handmade vessels, each vessel representing a chapter from my life.
Each vessel and the narrative it told was deeply personal. I found the making process extremely cathartic, and although I am very private about my life, it felt freeing to be able to get my story out for all to see even if they did not know the exact meaning.
Moving forwards, my aim is to either hold workshops or take commissions to encourage others to express themselves in this way to either celebrate a joyous event or occasion, or to use as a healing method for distress, trauma and grief.