My work is inspired by the animal imagery that has pervaded human imagination from earliest history. In myth and folklore animals have been used metaphorically to simplify the complexities of adult life and as children our cognitive learning is fuelled by animal names, shapes, patterns, colours and sounds.
Rather than creating realistic animal sculptures I make creatures that inhabit another world. Each animal is part of a narrative and is displayed in its own environment. My current work explores the themes of animals as categorised objects as in medieval bestiaries and Victorian menageries. I like my creatures to appear as if they are awkward, sensitive and vulnerable.
This appearance is emphasised by a very personal making process that exaggerates the skeletal frame of the animal. I first make a wire framework on to which layers of printed and patterned pieces of porcelain paper clay are applied to form a skin. The natural twists and kinks of the wire frame and the shrinkage of the clay around it during firing help to dictate the posture of the finished animal. The element of chance in these processes is central to my work.