My current body of work is entitled “Capture & Preserve”. I use ceramic techniques to capture and preserve things of beauty and importance. My work focuses on capturing and preserving two diverse areas. Domestic handicraft skills, such as crochet, knitting and sewing that have been passed down through generations and local fauna. Preserving the skills of my female ancestors is important to me and I use vintage, as well as my own sewing pattern pieces, to create unique porcelain forms. Detailed crocheted pieces created by my great grandmother can be seen within my work. I would like to raise the status of such domestic handicrafts, historically overlooked and seen as only 'women's work'. The purpose of my work is to remind people of the incredible skills needed to produce such beautiful and intricate work and to capture them for future generations lest these skills be lost.
The intricate nature of wild plants, which I find locally, can also be captured and preserved. By pressing them into porcelain tiles and adapting my glazes I can highlight details, which are so often overlooked.
I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2014 with an MA in Fine Art. My MA work focused on a specific time and place; coal mining communities in the North East of England at the turn of the 20th century. The key role of miners' wives was explored through their domestic handicraft skills of knitting and crochet. For this collection of work I produced 'fossilised' forms in bone china as well as in hand-made paper to demonstrate the fragility of this particular way of community life.
I continued to explore the processes of knitting and casting in bone china in my body of work entitled 'Knitting for Tommy'. These pieces were a dedication to the soldiers who perished in the first world war, in particular to my great, great uncle, William Mackey, who died in France in 1917 at the age of 23. It is also a dedication to the scores of people who knitted socks and other garments for their loved ones in the trenches during the first world war. My pieces were hand made in wool from original 1914 patterns then cast in bone china.
Processes of making are very important to me as a maker/artist and I am intrigued by all kinds of tools and patterns of construction. As such, traces of the maker, as well as processes of making inform my practice.
Born and raised in Durham, I am very interested in domestic handicrafts handed down through generations, particularly where there is a connection to industry. I describe myself as a mixed media artist, since the subject of my work tends to dictate it's final form and I enjoy the process of engaging directly with materials. I currently live and work in St Albans, Hertfordshire.