Amongst my fondest memories are mealtimes around the kitchen table in my childhood. Wedged between my two older brothers, to stop them fighting, we would chew our way through the regulation 'meat and three veg' that my mother had prepared with much love but very little skill. It was a time to share stories and news of the day, coming to the table as individuals but leaving to clean the dishes as a tribe.
Mealtimes in the share houses of my twenties were similar in their sense of community but the diversity in housemates' backgrounds expanded my food horizons. I was awed, amazed and intimidated, with little to bring to the table myself. It was here that it dawned on me. I could make the objects from which we ate, with much love and, in time, hopefully some skill.
I’ve been doing just that for twenty years now. I have set up studios in sheds, shops, potteries and warehouses around the northern suburbs of Melbourne and am currently based in a collective, creative space in Brunswick. I call myself an urban potter as there is usually concrete beneath my feet and my clay comes in a bag. I continue to explore notions of nurture, individuality and community in what I make, while maintaining that primary functional purpose.
In the hectic, wonderful pace of city life my favourite moments are still those where family and friends gather around a meal, passing dishes from hand to hand, sharing stories and news of the day. Everyone brings something different to the table... including me.
It feels good to be part of something.