About the artist

I grew up in Essex on the edge of Epping Forest and from a very early age I was interested in all manner of creatures, which inevitably led me to activities such as the collection of caterpillars which I fed until they became a pupa in the jars on my bedroom windowsill. I often awoke to the sound of a fluttering moth or butterfly begging to be released! During the school holidays, the ponds at Epping Forest enabled me to fill more jars with tadpoles, newts and water beetles to name but a few. My other abiding passion was drawing and painting whenever I could find enough paper to work on. Sketchbooks were expensive when I was small and my sister and I would sometimes resort to tearing the blank flyleaves out of books acquired from jumble sales and would draw on those!

Many years on, when married with four children, we began to rescue various reptiles that had been captive bred and badly neglected. This grew over time until we had quite a menagerie. My children’s primary school would send whole classes to visit us and learn about our beautiful green iguanas, geckos, snakes and frogs. It is no wonder that such amazing animals have informed so much of my ceramic work.  

In the late 1970’s I began to model with clay during a series of leisure classes in pottery and sculpture at York Arts and Technical College. The tutors were RCA graduates from whom I learnt the basic techniques of glazing and kiln firing, followed by casting in plaster for bronze resin. I enjoyed a brief venture into bronze but this only confirmed my devotion to ceramics with its endlessly exciting opportunities for detail and colour

I begin each piece by modelling an appropriate base such as driftwood or rock in order to give the animal a sense of its natural habitat. My usually life-sized stoneware and porcelain sculptures are each individually modelled and intricately detailed. I fire them in an electric kiln up to five times to fix the various glazes and lustres.  

I was elected to the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) in 1999; since then I have held the posts of Council member, honorary secretary and Newsletter editor.  In 2001 I was elected to the Society of Women Artists and then in 2009, in recognition of my smaller works, I was elected a member of the Royal Miniature Society, holding the post of Vice President until 2013.

 

My work has been shown in numerous mixed exhibitions as well as one-person shows at Nature-in-Art, Gloucestershire and Llewellyn Alexander on London’s South Bank. I have received many awards over the years including the prestigious Terrevesta Prize for the best work of art at the 2018 SWLA exhibition at the Mall Galleries for my two meter high ceramic Hydrothermal Vent (sea chimney).