In 1987 I founded ‘Country Tile Design’ Hand painted and handmade ceramic tiles. I worked alone for the first year exhibiting at small venues. I then took a trade stand at ‘The Royal Show’ in Warwickshire. I sold out in the first two days and had to return home to collect anything and everything I had made. By 1992 my little business was booming. I converted a large barn in Somerset to accommodate the ever increasing number of employees and skilled artists. We were supplying many Tile and kitchen showrooms throughout the country and overseas. Aga Rayburn displayed our Country scenes at exhibitions and we featured in numerous magazine editorials and Book publications. As with anything that becomes fashionable and in demand the market became flooded with printed tile designs and cheap imports. By the late nineties a move in trend towards minimalism caused reduced interest in Hand painting. It was time to consider additional innovations.
Working from my studio in Nunney, Somerset, I have brought everything together and formed ‘Clay By Design’.
In an age of mass produced tiles - I hope to inspire you with my unique, truly handmade and innovative designs. Using only the finest English white earthenware clay, each piece is rolled into a slab, cut to shape with a potters’ knife and hand glazed using my own unique recipes. Whether your project requires a design statement or just a simple, traditional, handmade tile… you can be assured that no two pieces will be identical. The glazes add further character as they pool in the subtle undulating surface. True individuality can only be achieved by this labour intensive method, an affinity with clay and a passion for originality. I have been dedicated to producing original ceramic works of art since 1987.
My affinity with clay began in 1985 taking a ceramics course at Bath College of art and design. I tried my hand at throwing bowls, mugs and plates on a wheel, sculpture and slab building. Making and decorating tiles that I’d made I found very enjoyable … even though they warped so badly! Inspired by the beautiful, old Butcher shop tile panels at the ‘Jackfield museum’ Ironbridge. I began designing and hand painting my own Farm animals and Country scenes.
I am able to design, create with clay, develop glaze recipes and hand paint works of art, combining all considerably enjoyable aspects of handmade ceramics. Having over 30 years’ experience in providing unique craftsmanship, I feel there is still much more to create. Ideas for new designs and experimenting with glaze recipes will ensure that my work remains innovative and individual, without compromising traditional handmade qualities.