My passion is to offer meticulously handmade ceramic art to those who are drawn to narratively illustrated scenes of the simple country life. I am very much inspired by our family’s homesteading life, here on the Mira River of Cape Breton, Canada.
My forms are created using hand drawn paper templates and then hand-built using slabs of clay. The central motif of each vase or tile are made using hand-drawn paper templates as well, or by freehand. My illustration ideas are inspired by our own country life, old-time stories and people, heritage buildings, and antique objects. The technique I use to illustrate my ceramics is sgraffito, and I approach it in a manner more akin to relief printers who carve out designs on wood or lino blocks for printing on paper or fabric. While my subjects are nostalgic in nature, I am striving to create pieces that amalgamate the old and the new, pieces that would be fitting for those seeking art decor that are both nostalgic and modern.
Each piece I create are made from porcelain clay. The clay is first wedged then rolled out into a slab to the appropriate thickness, before I cut out the desired shapes using my hand-drawn paper templates. The slabs are then left to dry out a bit before I can join them up into a vase and apply my illustrations onto them. After that, the pieces need to become bone-dry through a very slow and even drying process to prevent cracks from forming. This could take a few weeks. Once ready, they are bisque-fired in the kiln for about twelve hours, let cool for another 12, dipped in glaze, then glaze-fired in the kiln for another nine hours, before they’re finally completed. Ceramic art is truly time-consuming, and it requires much dedication and labour. It forces me to slow down, to wait, and that is a good thing.