Garden Sculpture – Natural Forms

All of my garden sculpture is made frost proof by using stoneware clay that is fired to 1260 degrees centigrade. This renders the final piece of ceramic impervious to water.

Pod (from The Chintz Series)

Seed Pod (from The Chintz Series)

Burgeoning (from The Chintz Series)

Pods in Frost

The Chintz Series

Much of my recent work is inspired by my visits to the Ashmolean in Oxford. I have always had an interest in history and I love to explore the ancient artefacts in the museum. ‘The chintz Series’ of organic forms was initially made for ‘Sculpture in the garden’ at the Rococo Gardens in Painswick. In 2012 the theme for the exhibition was ‘Embarkation for dangerous liaisons’. These sculptures were inspired by ‘The Tree of Life‘, an Indian chintz fabric. At the time chintz could perhaps represent all that was desirable but forbidden. When the gardens were being built; chintz became so popular that English mills grew concerned, as they could not make it themselves. Consequently in 1720 Parliament enacted a law that forbade “the Use and Warings in Apparel of imported chintz…” I have tried to evoke these forbidden fruits in my work. Each piece has been hand built in crank clay using coiling technique. Coloured slips are applied before bisque; oxides, underglazes and glazes are finally applied and fired to stoneware.

Pods in Frost

The pods in the frost were made as a result of my time at Alfred University, New York State, USA in 1985. Homesick for Yorkshire, these were part of an installation that was designed to represent the sounds of bells carried on the breeze, rising up to the hill top from the church in the valley below. Initially the pods stood in a circle with a ring of tiles surrounding them. Emerging from each pod were contorted wooden rods of varying lengths with ceramic seed heads on their tip. The differing length rods were meant to represent the church bells, which at times could be heard clearly and would then disappear as the wind changed direction.