"Originally from rural Lincolnshire, I trained and still work as a molecular biologist but I have always had an interest in studio pottery. I am a member of Sundragon Community Pottery located in Balsall Heath and I am very much influenced by the work of artist potters working in the so-called ‘Leach tradition’ including, amongst others, Jim Malone, Phil Rogers and Nic Collins. I make high-fired stoneware and I am particularly drawn to the effects of flame and ash that can be seen on pots fired in wood-burning kilns and I am fortunate enough to have helped fire a number of such kilns across the UK. Firings are very much a team effort and typically last 3- 4 days, requiring constant attention and fuelling with wood to reach and maintain the temperatures of 1250-1300oC needed for glazing to occur. Firing the kiln is an exhausting process and I sometimes vow ‘never again’ but a week later, when the kiln has cooled and is opened, all the aches, pains and sleep deprivation are forgotten as the results are revealed. Unlike other, more predictable, methods of firing pots opening a wood-fired kiln can be a fraught business and failures are commonplace but, when it all comes together, the results can be both unexpected and magical"