Inside my Studio
Where is your current studio?
In a shed at home, which is near Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, south-east of Sydney.
What are the essential features a studio of yours has to have?
A very bare minimum might be pencils, paper and freedom from distractions – but clay and plenty of table space and shelving are also high on the list of priorities.
Describe your work pattern.
I like to work in daylight, so it’s roughly a nine to five day. During teaching weeks I have three days, and sometimes a fourth day of the week, in the studio. During the holidays it’s fairly hard to keep me out.
Describe the work you make in your studio.
Most of the time it’s wheel thrown, modestly scaled domestic forms made from porcelain, which are drawn and painted on with oxides and stains. But I also draw on paper in my studio, and I like to do a bit of coiling, and don’t mind a bit of rough stoneware with slip decoration every now and then.
What is the most satisfying part of your work?
Definitely drawing on the forms. I usually start with just a rough idea of what I might do, so the best moments are when I look back over a finished drawing and feel surprised about what happened along the way.
Type of kiln/firing?
A gas kiln fired to stoneware temperature.
What do you listen to while working?
If I’m really concentrating it’s just the bird songs from outside, but most of the time I like ABC Radio National or a random selection from my iTunes collection.
Your favourite tool?
Metal kidneys in various shapes and sizes; throwing lines really annoy me when I’m drawing.
How do you sell your work?
In exhibitions at galleries.
What do you do with your seconds?
Break them if they’re completely tragic, but if it’s a minor fault I might use them myself.
What is the dreaded job that never gets done?
Recycling my turning scraps. I just never seem to get around to doing it, but can’t bring myself to throw them out either. The bags are mounting up …
Which single piece of ceramics would you most like to own?
A small Miro sculpture.
From The Journal of Australian Ceramics Vol 48#2