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On my return from Japan in 1980, I was shocked to find the country in recession, nevertheless in 1981 I opened my first workshop in Cross Street, Penzance. I called it Cross Pottery, and developed a range of domestic-ware made from fine white stoneware clay. Because of the recession I had great difficulty in finding outlets for the ware. The pots were barely keeping me afloat, so I made a decision to concentrate on individual work. My first attempts at making individual pots unsupervised, were very frustrating for me, as my need to find my own style was clashing with all my background and training in a Leach/Oriental philosophy. I decided that to clear my mind of this stricture, I must work in a different medium from that of reduced porcelain and stoneware. I decided on an American-style of raku firing as it seemed to open up new paths of ideas. Unfortunately my workshop in Penzance was too restrictive for this style of firing, so I found a new rural workshop 4 miles outside of St Ives at Trencrom. At first I found it ideal; it had the space for me to try out my new ideas, although working in a medium with new materials, and new techniques proved extremely challenging. My early attempts were full of mistakes and cul-de-sacs, but I felt I was working towards my own style. I started to find a few galleries that would accept my work, but I also started to feel isolated in the rural location - I needed more stimulus and felt I must make a change in my circumstances. I searched for a new workshop, and eventually found the perfect place in the old Harts Ice Cream Factory in St Ives. In 1990 I moved my kilns and workshop back to St Ives.


1980’s

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