I went to Cambridge Art School for five years in the early sixties where I studied graphics, which led me to work for the Readers Digest Special Books as a book designer.
Sixteen years on, as an Art Editor, I left to become the Art Director of a small studio near Saffron Walden designing packaging for supermarkets. Five years after that I set up my own design practice, called Rockwell Design Consultancy. After running this business for fifteen years I retired in 2010 from graphics to start a new life as a potter.
With this type of background it is no surprise that a major influence on my work is graphic design. It could be said that it is graphic design meeting ceramic art.
All my work is hand-built (not a wheel in sight). I start each sculpture/pot with a design sketched out, rolling out the clay and then either laying it on a form or pushing it into a mould and then I start preparing the surface decoration. Because of the handbuilt nature of my potting the shapes are a little irregular and filled with the tell-tale signs of the hand of the artist, thereby giving them plenty of character.
In the last year I have concentrated more on working in themed areas such as the River of Life, Friends and Family, Victoriana and Rustic forms, all punctuated with the occasional one-off sculptural forms. In this gallery I have chosen just one main theme - River of Life. I arrived at this style by using the river as a metaphor for lifeâ€™s travels. I try to show the strands of life all around you with all their influences. In this abstract theme you are the blue or golden pewter line in the middle and either side are the main features of your life, such as family, money, job, friends, etc. All have their impact on you by pushing and pulling you. So in a Calm Life the lines gently lift and descend, but in a busy life you are pushed violently this way and that.
My main objective throughout my potting activities is to create styles that have an individuality and a meaning.