Chris was introduced to clay at school by a ceramicist who fostered his interest in making pots. He began to volunteer at exhibitions and selling fairs getting to know potters from around the UK and in 2013 moved to Stoke-on-Trent to volunteer at the British Ceramics Biennial. From there he found work with ceramic designer Reiko Kaneko and stayed in Stoke for the next three years. These experiences inspired him to seek further practical training and meet other potters, so he applied to DCCoI’s Centre of Excellence in Ceramics. Upon graduating, he would like to work for another small pottery or individual potter before eventually setting up his own studio which he hopes would be home to several full-time potters, as well as running classes and events.
For me, the best pots come when there is balance between my head, heart and hands. I like to keep forms simple and follow a methodical approach to design creating forms that invite decoration. Influenced by the work of abstract oil painters like Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko, I seek to create a similar sense of depth and movement on a pot’s surface. I apply coloured slips intuitively with brushes, spatulas and sometimes just my fingers. The process challenges me to make confident marks which are free of doubt and self-consciousnesses. Careful observation as the layers go down: the placement, opacity and contrast of the marks, the load of the brush and porosity of the surface; each pot informs the next. Developing my own logic for surface, no two pots are the same, but they share a common vocabulary. It is the chance to refine and evolve this language that excites me and drives me forward. I enjoy the process more and more, and hope pots made in this way are embedded with life communicating a sense freedom and fun.