I am currently producing functional stoneware pottery and sculptures in a reduction-fired gas kiln. I identify myself with the oriental stoneware tradition best expressed in the work of Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach and my own mentor from South Africa, Andrew Walford.

I began pottery in South Africa in the early 1980s with the significant support and encouragement of Andrew Walford. I have recently started again after a break of 15 years. This rediscovery has been deeply satisfying in spite of the inevitable mishaps and having to relearn old skills.

It is really good to do something completely different to that which dominates day to day work life. Working with clay provides a tactile,  practical and creative alternative to a thought and conversation orientated “other” life.

I like the unpredictable and interesting textures of reduction firing. l want the colours and textures of the clays to be visible and make this an important part of each piece. There is no mistaking that the pottery pieces result from the manipulation of earth, fire, water and air; something begun by our earliest ancestors.

I start out intending to make another of something that I am satisfied with but the pieces soon change and evolve into something slightly or significantly different. The craft becomes creative. The pottery sometimes shapes the potter.

–Vaughan Norman