I have always been, in one way or another, inclined to the Ďartsí. At school in the Wirral, instead of being put forward for GCE 'O' level Art, I successfully took the Advanced Level instead, and after a Student Engineering Apprenticeship, I ended up as a draughtsman for a couple of years, followed by moving into Project Engineering. Then, in 1984, I sidestepped into computing and software within engineering, until I retired in 2009.

Iíve spent time working in pencil, pen-and-ink, watercolour, and oils, attended night school "Pottery" classes some 30 years ago, and more recently taken a course in Sculpture at the South Downs College. One thing I had learned from the little experience I had of ceramics up to that time, was that creating a object in clay and covering it in glaze, for somebody else to fire was only part of the fun.

A couple of years ago I built a small gas fired kiln, and started exploring slip casting, hand building, glazing, and Raku. Now I'm able to work through the whole process, discovering not only the shapes, forms and textures that can be achieved with clay, but also the wonders of glazes and the colours that can be generated through varying the firing process.

I find it difficult to label what exactly inspires me - there are so many inspiring objects out there, especially in the natural world. I think that the combination of shape, texture and colour can produce so much variation, that slightly changing one of those parameters can make the difference between a completed piece of work being seen as attractive or not. After all, it all comes down to personal choice - "one man's meat is another man's poison"

A Member of The Southern Ceramics Group