As a child I used to pick up flints and arrowheads in England. There was a real depth of history, of utility within them. 

I am interested in the qualities of ceramics and what happens when you shatter it. You get some amazing effects and you can literally see the ‘shock waves’ in the material. This is a process that allows an individual item to become unique.

I refer back in history to Finnish ceramics and wooden butter knives and tools. There is something about the way of taking it into a cutting edge. Looking at ceramic-zirconium toughened alumina.

So I went from that to the knife... to where you snap off a blade and make your own edge instantly...

Referencing

I look at objects that show how certain materials are formed to give strength and structure. Little quirky things appeal to me, both natural and man-made objects.

These found objects are ideas. I don’t believe that I have original ideas that are referenced from outside. I am only inspired by seeing something.

I always reference from something else. So a bit of plastic with fine ribbing becomes white porcelain and the dense ribbing on a container or it allows for a grip or it lets light animate a surface.

Again they are very simple things but they are refinements of form.

Drawing

Classically working with one piece... the notion of drawing is a way to get things down. I have books and books of simple scratchings. So no matter how simple a drawing is somehow I get an idea of a form. Then it’s just a matter or refining the idea.

There is a way of refining the drawing concept and even through the drawing process there are accidents that happen...

Quirks of drawing suddenly work or that bit that’s there, that you didn’t put there... that you pick up on, can lead to something else.

I also use paper and card construction...

Materials

Ceramic is a very transformative, versatile substance and medium. Its properties change totally when fired. The quality it has is very enduring. The way we respond to it is very particular.

Felt is a material with a similar heritage to ceramic. It has been used as a material since ancient times primarily for warmth and shelter. Somehow the two run together .

They are both materials that the user can relate to and have very strong connections to as well. You can combine the materials to create a beautiful union. The soft and warm, and the hard and cold.

I went from clunky to refined, where you build up the structure. I almost see them as a semi-survival tool.

I’m working with the material... the ribbing gives stiffening elements and rather than hide the quality of the material, the ribs demonstrate what a smart material it is. Paring it right back.

Contrasts

They are both malleable materials, one is cold and hard and one is soft and warm. They have sensorial, tactile elements. I’ve tried to pierce and expand ceramic but it’s a lot easier with felt.

I’ve looked at ceramic dishes and containers and placed them within felt containers and looked at the way you experience the different temperatures and the quality of the surfaces.

The water jug combines ceramic and felt. 

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

A palace to showcase industry

A palace to showcase industry

With the Royal Melbourne Exhibition Buildings listed on the World Heritage Register on the basis that it and the Eiffel Tower are the last substantial reminders of the great nineteen-century Expositions Universelles, it is timely to reflect upon the history of this palace of stucco and glass and its long practice of displaying design objects.

Share
Winning designs reflect Asia

Winning designs reflect Asia

The Design for Asia Award, established three years ago by the Hong Kong Design Centre, is dedicated to promoting design excellence and raising awareness amongst the business community as well as the general public.

News, Play, Rest, You

Adapting to harsh conditions

While ‘Built for Australian Conditions’ was one of GMH’s earlier marketing slogans, ‘Australian conditions’ designed and built some of our earliest manufactured goods.

Share, Work