Large stoneware platter with tenmoku glaze and brushwork decoration – UK private collection

one-off pieces

Experimenting is important to me as a way of keeping things fresh and as a learning process. Always interesting and rewarding, whether it produces useful results or not, at its best it gives me exciting new pieces to exhibit.

I love these periods of exploration. I can’t wait to get into my studio in the morning and am impatient to see the results of my endeavours come out of the kiln. One-off pieces from my most recent experiments are documented below.

They were all exhibited at The Old Fire Engine House, Ely, in February 2012.

Free-form stoneware dish with brushed slip decoration

Graphic dish

I returned to a technique learned during my apprenticeship to form pots over a hump mould. Then we made little dishes for soy sauce and the like – now I wanted to make big.

I also wanted to experiment with coloured slips in a free and painterly way. So I worked on the flat using brushes and slip trailers on large slabs of clay.

Free-form stoneware dish with brushed slip decoration – UK private collection

Landscape dish

When the surface was dry enough to touch I homed in on the circle to cut from the slab which was then formed over a mould and carefully dried and fired.

An unexpected bonus from this technique is the almost printed quality given to the surface colours by the muslin cloth used to prevent the clay sticking to the mould.


Lidded stoneware jar with brushed slip decoration – UK private collection

Jars with acrylic handles

Working with brushes on the flat really freed up my arm and I then started to use the technique on thrown pieces sometimes playing with the shapes by cutting and piercing. In the case of the lidded jars I added the acrylic handles as an echo of the Japanese Te Oke bucket.


Set of stoneware dishes with brushed slip decoration

bowl with a hole

The bowl with a hole is inspired by the wonderful, bright colours of Japanese Tsukemono (pickles).

Collection of stoneware vases with brushed slip decoration


The simple shapes of the vases have a more mid-century European feel.