The Ash Project
This ceramic domesticware reflects the landscape it comes from: the windswept grass, chalkhill blues, the trees and stone. With sweeping oxide colouration, these unique glazes are made with the burnt wood of ash trees lost to ash-dieback in the UK. In extraordinary chance encounters of natural process and mineral, this glassy ash-glaze pooling into rare, bright blue, perhaps offers a farewell from those giants of our landscape, somehow translated here, vitrified in their long journey; held now in our hands and homes.
This is the Ash Project, a quiet installation making its way across the globe with every new owner. Each mug, plate, bowl I make with this glaze, each home it inhabits, each hand that holds it is part of a remembrance of this species.
a long morning coffee
These forms share the names of the woodlands and fields around my workshop at Rushmere Farm in the South Downs. These ancient words, sculpted by the voices of generations who have lived there, resonate with the trees, the stones, the human activity and the fauna of that landscape. Reduction fired to 1300C, interchangeably in white and dark stoneware bodies, they are suitable for domestic use.
a black coffee or flat white
Inspired by the textures and colours of flint, a stone synonymous with this place and with its human history. Here in the furrows of newly turned earth are tools made by humans who lived and worked in this place between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago. Yet, as they fall into our palms, and our fingers find their grooves, we can feel what they were used for and in the space that it left we can feel a hand, just like ours, reaching across this unimaginable time.
ˈlī - əts
Now, at the height of mass production and commercialism, there is more to any handmade object than the function it performs. We have reached such an extreme that just to make something has become a political act. So there is no doubt that even at its most fundamental level this work is more than the thing we use it for. That function is a part of its identity, a licence to be a part of a life. Each unique piece is also a resistance, a silent call for change in where we choose to place value and the ways we choose to live.
Set of plates and bowls