I live in Northumberland near the small town of Allendale where I have the freedom to experiment with smoke and fire to create my simple ceramic sculptures of stylised fossils and prehistoric arrowheads. All my work is handmade from white stoneware and decorated with oxides and powdered stone such as shale, chalk, sand and vermiculite before being smoked with wood shavings. Salt, seaweed, oxides and minerals added to the shavings give spontaneous decoration to the work, making each unique.
In addition to my smoke fired sculptures I also produce raku fired jewellery and wood fired sculptures for home and garden.
Influences in my work come from my interests in archaeology and geology. I collect interesting and unusual objects whether they belong to the natural world as a pebble from a Northumberland beach or to the manmade world in form of rusty or fire scorched metal or a weathered tile. These give me inspiration and I try to reflect these influences in my ceramics.
"There is an earthy, timeless quality about the ceramics; the sculptural forms are simple and richly marked by smoke. Consequently, each piece is unique and unusual"
“Living North”, Val Fairbairn Barnes