You wear many creative hats – set designer, prop stylist, potter, to name a few. Is there a common thread that runs through your creative endeavours?
I’ve always liked objects. The design, feel and quality of something. My favourite aspect of working on sets is sourcing the objects to fill them. I suppose that could be quite materialistic, but I think humans are just inherently tool making and using animals. I feel like you can take as much pleasure from the glaze on a pot or a gauzy linen, as you can from the pattern of a shell or the patina of a conker.
What prompted you to focus more of your efforts on pottery recently? How would you sum up your style of pottery?
Feels very boring to mention the pandemic but having that pause made me realise what I wanted to be putting my energies in to. I like simplicity in pottery, using a clear glaze to reveal the colour of the clay, then maybe for example putting a handle at the bottom of the mug rather than the top for to give a subtle twist.
I love the Shaker movement, and their respect for everyday objects and simplicity of design. I’m always striving to find something that embraces the timelessness of pottery but combines some modern sensibilities.
You use different types of stoneware clay in your work. Pottery is clearly a very hands-on activity. What is it about working with natural materials that appeals so much?
I find the natural world is full of endless inspiration. I’ve been focusing recently on ways to bring the outside in to my studio, developing glazes made of seaweed or foraging clay in Sydenham Hill woods. It’s quite grounding.
We’ve always admired your sense of style. What three factors influence you most when buying clothes?
Thank you! I do love clothes but practicality is key. I always need something that can get covered in clay, that won’t effect me riding my bike or won’t tear when I’m scuttling about a photography set. That leaves you with pretty utilitarian options. For that reason, Jane Goodall is probably my ultimate style icon, a good pair of shorts, a t-shirt and a pony tail. Iconic. I always try and buy good quality that will last or go to charity shops.
Quick fire five
- Favourite restaurant: Silk Road in Camberwell. Northern Chinese food and a beer. Joy!
- Favourite holiday destination: Tuscany, if it’s good enough for Tony Blair...
- Favourite musician: Honestly probably Joni Mitchell, though I feel like a bit of a white mum for that. Any female diva, Kate Bush, FKA twigs etc. Sorry, I know it said one.
- Prize possession: I’m quite attached to the ceramics I’ve collected and been given over the years. You don’t want to be around when a mug brakes.
- Biggest indulgence: Ingredients for cooking, or maybe clothes. Whoops.