The starting point for my work is usually inspired by the forms, patterns and textures found in the coastal world around me, particularly on landing piers of small fishing villages around Ireland.

I collect anything that looks sculptural, all sorts of small objects, eroded metal, tackle, nets, sea shells and fragments washed up by the tide. I photograph and document what I find.

In my studio I work with stoneware clay, all my pieces are handmade. I specialise in large scale slab built work. I use segments that I put together to create the final shape. I make decisions as the form grows. If everything was planned from the beginning it would be very boring. The interior shapes fascinate me. I want somehow to highlight them, to capture or contain or trap that space. I know the piece is finished when it conveys something to me, maybe it’s the form or the scale but usually it’s the empty spaces.

The piece is then allowed to dry slowly and during this phase is further refined to remove any blemishes. After that it is allowed to fully dry over a couple of weeks and bisque fired to a temperature of 900º C.

I had been wondering how I could draw people towards my stoneware forms and more particularly into them, so recently I have been using photographic imagery from my archive, to make decals that when fused onto the interior surface of the pieces add a vibrancy to the work, just as mother-of-pearl adds unexpected softness to a seashell. It’s the same material but the play of colour and opalescence on the surface generates a feeling of beauty, of mystery.