I enjoy researching and reading narratives in history. Stories about makers and ideas that connect us to our rich ceramic traditions. It’s a way for me to find relevance in our contemporary times and to further improve and develop my own clay practice. Even those individuals who seem to bypass traditional clay understandings (consciously or not), appearing to pave a new way with clay, even they, are still connecting to the past as a foil. In their rejection of our adopted history, skills, and understandings they validate the existence of these traditions. As I busy myself with mundane tasks around my studio, I often find myself musing on this and how my own practice is influenced by others' stories, their works, and their own processes and challenges, successes and failures.

I entered my degree course in 1994, fresh from high school. I knew I loved clay but that was about the extent of it. In my second year, an artist-in-residence program invited the makers TOM AND ELAINE COLEMAN to our campus. They brought with them a selection of their sublimely thrown forms, delicate glazes, and intricate carvings. I was fortunate to sit and watch, enthralled by their processes. My lecturers strongly encouraged me to further my interest in carving and celadon glazes by observing their practices. The next years of my life were consumed by my passion for clay, and then life overwhelmed my attentions.

So after a twenty-year hiatus, I returned to working in clay. I established a pottery studio in our garden. I would find time amongst family life to begin again. With renewed vigour and itchy fingers I opened up an old mouldy bag of porcelain and I was left wondering where I wanted to start. Even opening a bag of porcelain was significant to me because students were discouraged to use such a pristine clay body and the only porcelain available at the time was Limoges. I had a bag of Southern Ice, a lovely Australian porcelain to play with. Three years in and I felt I was still meandering, I decided to approach my work as a self-directed masters student, all the while jointly parenting two small children. I would conduct research, work on, and develop my findings, read books about pottery, and start to take notice.