Personal History

I have always been a maker: as a small child I modelled, painted, scribbled and stitched, but I now believe that the first seeds of mature creativity were sown during the time spent with my father and uncle during their off-duty fishing expeditions. It was my task to forage in rock pools for the soft crabs required as bait, and whilst doing so I formed a habit, filling damp pockets with my own ‘treasures.’ I was also fortunate to have at that time a Primary School teacher who encouraged us to record findings from what in those days were known as ‘nature walks.’ So another habit was formed: studies of found objects, drawings made, descriptions written, then assembled in individual books made by hand during craft lessons. This man was a huge influence during the two years I spent in his classroom, and remained a close friend into adult life until his death many years later. My father’s passion for the sea and its environs, alongside extended family connections to farming and agriculture, meant the natural world was simply the backdrop to growing up in post-war coastal North Yorkshire, impressions gathered subconsciously, as natural as breathing.

Those historic imprints remain, and surrounded as I am today by objects gathered over many years, it’s no surprise that those early experiences evolved into a lasting interest in marine life and palaeontology. Coupled with an ever-broadening awareness of the natural world, these influences ultimately formed the foundation for a creative identity.

Alongside family life, and rearing three sons, I studied ceramics as a mature student, graduated as a Distinction Licentiate in the late 70s, this leading eventually to acceptance as a full member of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen five years later. Current professional practice still has its roots in all of those early impressions and interests, almost 4 decades as a professional designer-maker have passed, and the creative life continues to evolve.

Image: Wolf Bowig – Hanover