As a relatively new comer to the ceramic scene I am constantly amazed at the endless versatility of clay. The feel of clay is like that of no other substance and it responds as easily to the lightest touch of a fingertip as to an energetic pounding, pulling or stretching. I enjoy the technical aspect of working with this material, which can be so frustrating at times, but nothing can match the satisfaction I get when I open the kiln and a perfect piece of work comes out.
In my studio I always have a variety of projects on the go at the one time. I think, over the years, one thing that ‘clay’ has taught me is that it is necessary to have an endless supply of patience. Projects do not need to be finished in ten minutes, although sometimes a spontaneous quick piece can have more energy in it that something that has been worked on for hours, even days. I am a ‘hands on’ type of person and clay is a perfect medium for me to work with, and even when painting I often dispense with the brushes and apply the paint with my hands or whatever else is nearby.
Having completed my first year of a two year Masters in ceramics at NCAD (National College of Art and Design) Dublin, I took a year out to work on various projects which came my way. They were the Crafts Council of Irelands Craft in the Classroom Project, various youth projects and teaching ceramics with the VEC in Athy, Co Kildare. I have learned that Art, in whatever form is hugely underestimated for its ability to allow the individual to examine, explain and represent themselves. For me, clay is one of the most fundamental of all materials, one of the most poetic substances in which to sculpt and reveal the magic within ourselves.
I completed my MA in 2010 with a research project ‘Ceramics For The Senses’, an investigation into the importance of being able to interact and touch a work of art especially for those who are visually impaired.