I am presently focusing upon the ancient Japanese technique of Raku, where the rapid cooling and immersion in carbonising materials is unpredictable and unrepeatable in ceramics. The finished pieces with their carefully incised patterns, vivid colours and pure shapes celebrate their stressful birth in the surface crackle, pits and accidents characteristic of this process. The inevitable breaks and cracks are acclaimed and often given new life by repairs with gold by another Japanese process known as Kintsugi.
Making bold voluptuous forms on the potter’s wheel, I often incorporate gold, glass and oxide inlays, scraffito, coloured slips and clays with the use of gas, electric or raku kilns to achieve different glaze surfaces and decorations.
Fortunate to have studios in Canterbury and central France; I can explore ovoid and spherical raku, porcelain and stoneware forms which I have developed into simplified faces and bodies inspired by Modigliani, ostrich eggs, and Easter Island sculptures to celebrate human cultural diversity. These figures provide rich stimuli for discussion and used to enhance children’s development of language and vocabulary.
Between 2016-18 as part of the Canterbury Festival, I conceived and organised the Canterbury Throwdown. It was opened and sponsored by Keith Brymer Jones from the BBC series Throwdown, involving 60 potters for two weeks, with over 750 local participants.
I will be interviewing Keith in this year’s 2022 Festival.
Of Egyptian descent, I developed my unique forms working amongst potters in North and East Africa, Singapore and Malaysia. I established workshops, learning about form and methods using local materials, as part of a British Council collaboration with Malaysia and continue to use a fine iron bearing clay dug from the back garden to contrast with the patterning on my present white porcelain pots.
I exhibit and teach locally and in London.