How did your recently launched Claymoon Studio come to be?
This format has been in my head for many years. My fascination with clay has been an ongoing love affair. My wife and I first started working with clay as a building material through restoring ancient buildings and constructing new ones. We then focused on wall finishes in clay creating different textures and colours. I love the idea of simply being able to hang a thick piece of clay onto the wall – large format pottery as wall hangings.
Over the past few years I have been dedicating more time to making claymoon a reality. It’s a rewarding process that I feel energised by. Clay reveals itself in different ways and I like exploring this process. There are times when I just can’t wait for the pieces to dry to see how the colour or texture will reveal itself.
You have long been working with clay to create wall finishes for your brand Clayworks. How would you describe the experience of working with clay and how does your approach differ in an artistic vs a functional context?
My wife and I started working with clay in 2000 when we did an apprenticeship in ‘natural building’ in Oregon. We then moved to Cornwall, UK for a project and never left. In 2010 we started Clayworks.
I love the idea of intention when working with clay in an artistic context. When working in a functional way, I feel it’s harder to focus on putting intention into the work. When we are doing the pieces it is my intention to put ‘love’ into the work. I do this by focusing on the rhythm of music while doing the pieces and also the rhythm of the work. The rhythm helps to get into a flow and makes it a more meditative process, allowing the ‘love’ to be present in the work.
How do new ideas emerge for you and what is the process for developing them into finished pieces?
I find inspiration all around me. In the local pigments here in Cornwall, in the colours and minerals present around the world. I like looking at pottery from around the world and ancient traditions of working with clay.
You recently showed your Rammed Earth Series in the context of a James Turrell Skyspace installation. What effect did this environment have on your experience of the work?
I have a very personal connection to the Turrell space, so it was a real honour to create a series of pieces for it. I have spent time in the space with my family and friends, creating fond memories. The vibrant greens of the gardens outside have always stuck with me when entering into the space, almost like a colour memory that is carried into the space for me. I wanted to bring in a transitioning single colour of green to reflect that feeling of bringing the outside into a space with you.
Which other current artist-makers’ work do you admire and why?
Craig Bamford from Sasa works is an inspiration to me. He puts a lot of positivity into his work – really beautiful furniture and lighting. The potter, Nancy Fuller has amazing colours and textures. Cyriaque Ambroise, an incredible craftsman that makes beautiful wooden utensils for tea ceremonies. Peter Swan’s pottery, and Felix and Jake at Many Hands for their attention to detail and love of craft.
Follow the brand’s processes and updates on their instagram page @claymoonstudio