I have always made things.
As an only child my early resourceful passions were for chemistry sets, puppetry, homemade museums and conjuring tricks.
My forms and aesthetic, of the stark and the industrial, have always put me out of step with the craft based organicly oriented mainstream of NZ pottery.
I owe more to the philosophy of the European design movements of de Stijl and the Bauhaus, than to the NZ preoccupation with Anglo Orientalism, the East and Zen.
I subscribe to the idea of the Renaissance Man. I wrote Film Reviews, and contributed regularly to the late N Z Potter Magazine, of which I was on the editorial committee. Along with my ceramics, I maintain the parallel career as a designer of Theatre Sets and Costumes. I like my own exhibitions to always contain surprises. They are always staged, with the pieces presented as much for the dramatic effect as for the objects themselves.
When working in clay, I see myself following in the traditions of being just a craft potter. Each piece is hand-made and unique. I throw and turn all my work on the potter’s wheel. I make ware which is easily recognisable as the classical pottery vessel, bottle or bowl, but my special concern is to push the concepts of these as far as possible into severe minimalism and into the functional/non-functional debate to explore the very essence of defining these ideas.
For me, my life is a successful marriage of all my interests. I make no distinction between them, even if trying to define what I actually do for a job bothers other people. I see no difference between my two practices. They both are concerned with 3D objects in space. The only difference is that my ceramic work is a solo activity and my theatre work involves total collaboration. But whether working on a monthly magazine copy, designing a theatre piece or an exhibition of ceramics, there are the same pressures and unalterable deadlines. The same themes flow through your work and the same processes of stylisation, fine-tuning and attention to detail apply.
The adrenaline rushes on publication dates, at exhibition openings and on first nights in the theatre are just the same.