Making an Espresso cup

The cup was made for a competition in Taiwan to design a novel coffee cup for the ceramics Museum in Taipei.

Espresso as drunk in Italy is normally served at the bar. It’s a quick shot of energy, strong and sweet. You probably don’t even notice what the cup looks like. My idea was to slow things just a little to centre the mind.

I wanted the drinker to have to assess and enjoy a new experience that challenged all the senses and added another dimension to the enjoyment of the strong coffee.

It is a double cast form, hollow inside thus protecting the hands from heat. It’s a two handed cupping experience to drink from it. The inside has a sculptural off-centre feel and thus you have to choose the side you drink from. This is rather like a Japanese teabowl.

The form of the inside was generated by playing with stretched rubber forms creating visual tension. The clay body of the cup is stained with oxides and the glaze is a simple transparent glaze without colour.

The sensation of drinking from it as told by testers is more primal than a normal cup, more like drinking from a small pool in a rock.

The espresso cup is part of the Sculpture in a time of Covid gallery.

Sculpture in a time of Covid

An exhibition of selected works made during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Art is about life, and with it the opportunities and changes that sudden national and international events bring to us all.

This selection from many more works in 2D and 3D produced during the last year and a half has been my visual response to recent events. Some of that response has engendered a feeling of why not just push this idea to its limits and take the risk!

At other times I didn't know what I had or what I could do with an expression or a way of working until I did it.

Some of the results are in the Sculpture in a time of Covid gallery.

The Vestibule @4RC

I'm showing some recent work in an exhibition in the Hampshire Open Studios art trail, which is organised by Rob Turner.

The show features Turner's bone china tableware and garden pots, perspex jewellery by Loudware and lampshades and pictures by Hilary Grayson.

As well as showing my work, I'll be running two workshops demonstrating creative mold-making, exploring the dynamic potential of positive and negative.

The exhibition is on from 18th to 27th August, from 10am to 5pm.

The mold-making sessions are on Sunday 19th and Sunday 26th at 11am.

Edenbridge exhibition

Drawings, prints, sculpted ceramics and found objects all feature, collide and meld in this show of recent work. I feel that I am evolving a new visual language, which can be used to express and explore a world of ideas, change and renewal, of our connectedness to materials and their physical and emotional resonance.

This film was made with the intention of shining a light on a body of new work, which brings together various modes of expression, drawing, printing, found objects, ceramic sculptural form, and a crude sensual use of clay.

This way of working is new to me coming after a long period of making and exhibiting internationally work centred on a series of minimalist, painstakingly-made, ceramic sculptures. It also introduces the spoken word, titles and labels and another visual angle and thus interpretation on what I was able to do in the space.

The instinctive expressions of the freely made ceramics, challenges what has gone before and indicates the possible marriage of modes of working. It is about opening up and expansion.

Dee Honeybun recorded a series of interviews with me at the time of the exhibition.





Other materials

Yingge Ceramics Museum residency

I was the artist in residence at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan for September this year.

I've written an article called mining uncertainty in Taiwan containing reflections of my time at Yingge along with a bit about my history to give it context.

Images of the work I produced during this time can be seen in the new Yingge gallery.

3 makers

-Gen artwork

I took part in the 3 makers exhibition at the Tokarska gallery in Walthamstow with Amanda Doidge and Raewyn Harrison from May 9th to 1st June of this year.

The exhibition included the following talks on contemporary ceramics:

You can view details of the exhibition on the Tokarska gallery website or as a PDF (2402K).


I've been interviewed about the work for this show.

View a transcript of the interview

I've been working with ceramics for a long time, actually and with one material and it's the material I emotionally respond to.

When you look at the work in the exhibition you'll see that actually there are really 2 different groups of work but they are related as well. Some of the work has got a strange name, liminal which means something is on a threshold, it could become something else and the other work is called -gen which I hope, when you look at the work you'll actually see it means something in relation to things like to generate something, to create something and it's really about life, you know, it's really about how life becomes, it changes, becomes something else all the time, we can never actually stay still, even in our lifetimes, all our cells change.

The show I think is interesting, it involves different people at different stages in their careers and I think that's part of the debate that could come out of this exhibition is what will be the future for ceramics, you know what's going to happen?

Education seems to be in a state of flux. We're at a stage where digitisation seems to be taking over in all forms of life and yet I think it's really important that we keep in touch with materials and being able to develop ourselves as much as the objects that we make through a knowledge and understanding of materials.

Interivews with the other artists can also be found on YouTube:

Yingge Ceramics Museum residency selection

I have been selected to be an artist in residence at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan during 2013.

This will be a residency of up to three months, which will involve both collaborative work, lectures and the development of small sculptures in porcelain.