To find my source at the very heart of nature; everything is there, all that is needed is to gather what it offers, to reunite the elements of earth, air, water and fire.

To go out, to engage with the materials, to learn to know them, to feel intimate with them.

To explore abandoned mines. To collect stones and minerals. To find the places where the clay resides, a deposit hidden in an disused quarry slowly being reclaimed by nature, a rich vein at a bend in the road, along an embankment’s edge, at the shore of a pond .

To drink in the poetry of these places, to listen to their song.

To dream.

To dig my hands into the earth, to taste the many variations of the soil. A thousand landscapes live in a few handfuls of clay. Micaceous sands, crumbled granites, feldspars, the soils of the Pyrenees, the Corbieres, the Dordogne all meet and mix here under the spreading oaks of Loustalou. The slugs make their homes here, the moss, the dead leaves and humus collect in the folds. Time continues with its work; sun, rain, ice and wind…

To choose, to combine these elements into terra sigillata, to blend a paste or formulate a glaze. To work in small batches, re-imagined and adapted at every firing.

Each piece is fashioned from a lump of clay. Softly the earth is molded between the fingers. Slowly, with calm and patience, the gentle pressure wins it over.

To let the heart of nature flow through my hands.

The delicate sound of fingers running across the surface of the bowl, endlessly changing.

Profound and lasting interaction with the earth, with the self.

The Little Dragon slumbers.

The wood dries around him.

In the forests around the house, to collect chestnut wood for the next firing.

Once bisque-fired, the bowls are taken from the kiln still hot, their surfaces worked with sawdust, with dead leaves. When glaze-firing, only one or two bowls are fired at a time so as to closely follow the ripening of each piece.

Keep an eye on the inside of the kiln. Feed the fire… monitor the state of the glaze; from matt to satin, edging near glossy, blistering, crawling, running. To move, to turn the bowl in the flames, to remove it for a moment to evaluate its progress outside the fire, to return it to the flame, again…

Inside the kiln glows light orange and yellow.

A single piece may be glazed and returned to the fire several times.

The use of the bowl continues the transformation. Tea penetrates its body, colouring the fine crackle in the glaze, just as the gentle passing into autumn tinges the leaves.

Hands, too, leave their patina as the years go by.