‘Nigel’s slip-decorated wood-fired earthenware has earned him international recognition. His thrown and altered pots combine bold contemporary shapes, with his unique style of decoration and strong sense of function.’
Since my days as a student in Cornwall I’ve had a longstanding interest in Earthenware, from the majestic thrown and slipped chargers of Thomas Toft, to the soft warmth of Southern European cookware. Although rooted in English traditions I believe in making pots that have relevance to our lives today
All my pots are a combination of thrown and hand-built techniques; pots are thrown on a kick wheel, with a slow rotation adding a quality of soft movement, hand-built pieces are formed by beating out clay on a large concrete slab.
Pots are cut and re-formed into ovals and squares, these are dipped in a white clay slip, dried, and then coated with green, amber and clear glazes, which produce a flat surface on which the blue oxides are painted, with new and old brushes, fingers, and odd bits of sponge, string and grass. Lines and motifs are often scratched through the blue, adding another narrative to the image.
My interest in the work of abstract painters, particularly Roger Hilton, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and other artists from the Cornish peninsula, has influenced the decorative marks I make. My work is approached not as a painter, but as a potter.
My pots are fired in a large woodfired kiln which is fueled with softwood off-cuts, this method of firing is labour intensive with long hours stoking the hot kiln, but the soft subtle effects it gives my work makes the pieces unique.
Nigel’s work is held in many public and private collections. He has exhibited widely in England, Europe and Australia and was elected a fellow of the Craft Potters Association in 1990 and to the council of the CPA in 2013