I came to ceramics quite late in life when I retired in 2000 from my employment as a manager, counsellor and trainer with various voluntary organisations. Prior to retirement I had attended evening classes in art and craft and had always been drawn to working with clay.
Penny Simpson, Bruce Chivers and Richard Phethean, all well-established potters, gave me invaluable help through their courses and workshops and I worked with Penny for about two years to learn how to throw and decorate functional pots. In 2002 I felt able to set up my own workshop in a converted shed in our garden on the edge of Dartmoor. Since then I have been on short courses run by Iris Millward and Richenda McGregor to learn about inlaid tile-making and raku, Sandy Brown â€“ well-known for her colourful spontaneous pots, Nick Mackman who does superb animal sculptures, Kobi Beck on darjit garden sculpture, Lucianne Lassalle on abstracting the figure and Celia Smith on making sculptures with wire.
From about 2011 I have become increasingly interested in painting, particularly pastels, oils and acrylics and have exhibited and sold my pictures in various local galleries. This interest has opened my eyes to new possibilities and I have found that my paintings are having a strong influence on my pottery designs. I have attended on-going courses run by Kari McGowan, well-known for her beautiful and often experimental watercolours, Jane Leitch who is best known for her animal portraiture but whose expertise in oil and pastel techniques has been invaluable, and Scott Russell a real expert in portrait painting in oils. I have also attended a number of short courses including ones run by Paul Riley in his beautiful Dittisham studio and James Tatum who has helped me to paint more freely.
I am a member of Devon Artist Network.
I feel that I am on quite a journey. To take up something completely different in retirement has been both excitingand fulfilling and opened my eyes to all sorts of new possibilities.
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