My first career was as a historian, and my work as an artist continues to be inspired by the idea of past lives and our relationship with them. I am especially interested in the material connection to the past that ancient objects represent, and the potent feeling of nostalgic intimacy and longing that they provoke in me. I explore the multiple functions that objects perform - utilitarian, aesthetic, emotional and playful – and how they are rooted in time, place, landscape and memory.
I work predominantly with bone china. Its unparalleled whiteness is beguiling, creating an invitation for thoughts and ideas to form in the mind of the viewer. It is a highly technical and temperamental clay, which forces me into new ways of thinking and experimenting. I am a technique magpie, combining traditional processes of hand-building and slip-casting with more modern ones such as laser cutting. I am also interested in testing the boundaries and bonds between materials, combining clay with glass and metal. The idea of fragility, breakage and repair is an integral part of my artistic practice, both conceptually and practically.
I have been a maker all my life. I grew up in the kind of house where I could take for granted ready supplies of wire, wood, and tools, and the attitude that what you could make for yourself, you should. After 20 years either in academia or bringing up small children, art has finally moved nearer to centre stage again. I have my own studio at the bottom of my garden in Cambridge, UK. In 2018 I competed the Foundation in Art and Design at City Lit, and then enrolled on the City Lit year-long 'Creative practice: personal project' course. I am currently establishing my practice as an independent fine artist.
Photo by Jo Randall