I started potting during my A-level Art and Craft (with Biology and Chemistry) at Boston College in Lincolnshire in 1989. My tutor was a man called Eric Degg. I got hooked and haven't looked back since.
I carried on ceramics as part of my B.Ed and eventually started teaching at St Osyth near Clacton on Sea. I worked as a classroom teacher from 1994 till 2016. I enjoyed teaching; it was all the other stuff that went with it that made it such an arduous task. I still do private tutoring for primary age children once a week and until recently was volunteering doing maths with year 6 at a local school.
My passion however lies in being creative. Not only in an artistic sense but in how I live and have my being. As a Christian my faith plays a strong part in how I think about the world and everything and everybody around me. I am acutely aware that pottery consumes a lot of natural resources and so I try to be a careful custodian of all that I have and use.
I reuse and recycle as much as I can both in the studio and outside, making benches and buildings from pallet wood and wood that would otherwise be thrown away. We have a wood burner that does all our hot water and heating, I know they are getting slated at the moment, but we collect, gather and chop as much as we can locally. Literally picking it from people's gardens. The advantage is we only put the fire on when needed, whereas a gas boiler (using fossil fuels), while it can be programmed will be on a lot of the time when people aren't around. Our electric is from purely renewable sources, 'bulb'-if you are interested in looking them up, (I can also give you a code to sign up that benefits both of us!) If I had the money solar panels would be the next thing on the to do list. Recently I have started volunteering at 'Tools with a Mission', a charity that reconditions and sends out tools, computers, sewing and knitting machines to countries in Africa in order to give people the means of supporting themselves and earning a living.
There is however something I enjoy doing that keeps our food miles very low, in fact to metres!, and that is keeping an allotment. It is a continual source of inspiration both for natural resources and artistic influence. I also love being near the sea. My criteria for choosing my first job was that it had to be a C of E school by the sea. Hence St Osyth. It has never been far from my mind since. I enjoy going anywhere on the East Anglian coast and taking in the beauty and sheer magnitude of it all. This has had a large impact on my work with both fish and shellfish being amongst things I have made.
My aim in my work is to make things that reflect the beauty of creation both in a physical as well as spiritual sense. I enjoy making things that are functional but am starting to move towards things that are more sculptural and aesthetic in influence. Given the opportunity I will often break out the oil paints or water colours. It is important to be keep abreast of current affairs and I like to be well informed and continue to study, listen to and find out about all things scientific. The more I hear and learn from various sources, including Brian Cox, the more I see a hand behind it all. So I will add some links below to things, places and people that are important to me and that you will also hopefully find interesting. Enjoy -Karlx
Tools with a Mission- the charity I volunteer with
bulb- renewables only energy company, that we use.
bbc podcasts- so many great things on here including; The curios cases of Rutherford and Fry, Gardner's question time, more or less, never seen star wars, It's a fair cop. There are so many...
The Naked Scientists- brilliant show on the latest scientific news. Chris Smith has also written some really good books.