Thursday, 22 May 2014


This August the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The war reached out and affected everyone’s life, changing it forever. Modern war resulted in previously unimagined losses. Over 9 million soldiers died and 21 million were wounded both physically and mentally.

Although the war is slipping from living memories, it is so important that we do not forget those that died for us. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo, but my family remembers Jonathan Tombs. He is the twin brother of my great paternal grandfather, and was tragically killed aged just 39 during the battle of the Somme in the First World War.

He was born on the family farm in Herefordshire, England, like many he emigrated to Canada. He was only in the war for 8 months before he was tragically shot. Jonathan Tombs is now buried in Contay British Cemetery with 1,132 other soldiers.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

'A Celebration of Nature' - Favourites, as voted by guests at the launch party.

At the private view for 'A Celebration of Nature' we asked our guests to write down their 3 favourite pieces of artwork. All of Kate's paintings were incredibly popular. I have included the top 3 and they are 'Moon Gazing' (the outright winner), 'Silver Flight' (my favourite of Kate's work) and  'Prince of the Forest'.

'Moon Gazing'
(There are stories linking the hare and the moon from all over the world.
The hare was believed to be the sacred beast of an Ancient Saxon Goddess, Ä’ostre. These mysterious creatures come out at night when the moon is full and became associated with life and re-birth).

'Silver Flight'
(Barn owls are also known as 'Silver Owls'. According to legend English preacher, Odo of Cheriton, told the story of how the owl became nocturnal; the barn owl had stolen the rose (a prize for the most beautiful creature) and the other owls punished it by banishing it to the night).

'Prince of the Forest'
(This piece is inspired by family holidays in Scotland and the skull of a mighty young buck we came across in Ardnamurchan was used as the main reference.
The Celts believed a stag was a symbol of the god of the forest and wild animals, otherwise known as Cernunnos. It's easy to see why they believed that these regal creatures were otherworldly.
I decided to name mine the 'Prince of the Forest' because he's not yet fully grown).

The top vote for my ceramics was the back on the metal stand. 

I made this male back using leaves collected in the autumn from an oak tree in the ancient hedgerow growing by our workshop. The silicone jacket mould was made from a plaster positive life cast of Marc Scriven (known as Scriv to our family), who is my remedial therapist. The shades of blue are created by cobalt oxide.

The next most popular piece is 'Tree of life'. It is the largest piece that I have made to date. I owe a huge thank you to Jonathan Clift. He he a very talented,  local, artisan blacksmith, who makes all my metal work. He does not have a website but his email is
The 5 ceramic heads on my ‘Tree of Life’ are made from casts of my face. They represent how the neurological disease, SCA1, (which I and some of my family have inherited) has affected me. Ataxia is progressive and comes in phases and influences different parts of your body at various times.

'Tree of Life'
Despite the devastating nature of this disease, there is hope. You cannot win but you can certainly fight; your mind needs to become stronger and you get spiritual growth, with branches reaching out to the heavens. Although it will last for MANY years, the wood in this piece of art, will gradually decompose.

The final most popular ceramic is a large green bowl.

This is my favourite smaller piece. It is fossil inspired. The fern grows in a damp area of the garden and I collected the ammonites in Scotland, on holiday. I have always loved the shape and texture of these fossils. I decided after the first firing to colour the bowl with copper oxide and this created the interesting shades of green.

I hope you like some of these artworks from 'A Celebration of Nature'.