Primitive creativity, digital craft.
I'm fascinated by how we create the world we live in through the things we make. My ceramics are about reclaiming a basic connection with who we are, our craft, creativity and sense of human agency. I focus on heritage a great deal, exploring the interface between innovation and tradition, things that are momentary and things that last. And I'm interested in how we can deepen our crafting, creative and innovation capacities as the world seems to be run more and more by algorithm.
[This Earthly Code] is a collection of pieces that fuses digital iconography with ancient tradition. These pots and bowls are inspired by the ground from which they come from in Cornwall, where clay has been dug up to make ceramics for centuries. This real connection to raw and primal elements is something I like to emphasise in my work.
The are ceramics that promote a sense of mindfulness and a conversation about what we are choosing to become as digitised humans. As we take that path, it's designed to encourage staying true to our origins. To me, evolution that has integrity comes about by synthesising capabilities of the past, present and future.
Each piece within the collection is individual. Their colours and characteristics are inspired the salts and minerals of the earth and the sea. The collection has a utilitarian function but it's about more than that. This is a 'Home' bowl.
A constant theme for me is about finding balance and this is expressed in my [Alter Piece] figures.
Alter Pieces are made from a design-registered anthropomorphic shape representing every man and woman. They're designed to be totems, statements of intent and symbolic portraits. 'Alter' stands for 'alternative', 'altered perception'.
This current chapter of human history is one in which we're beginning to co-exist alongside code, and this to me represents an epochal moment, a step-change in the development of human civilisation, and one in which we might question the role humans will play.
As part of that shift, these Alter Pieces are universal, blank canvasses, above gender, race or ideology. I think a renaissance exists for us somewhere, in the interface between human and digital design. These are pieces conceived and made using a fusion of digital technology, intertwined with human, handmade craft throughout the entire process I use to make them.
A reflection on innovation, individualism and digital identity, the intention is to explore who we are becoming, or might become, in the digital world. As ceramic pieces, of course, they're built to last in a way the virtual world is not. They are tangible representations of the intangible, and of our existence in a digital domain that's increasingly becoming a fundamental part of life.
As statements in time, they're collectibles that are able to distil footprints in time, in the ephemeral online world and elsewhere, sometimes with a wry smile. Hold them in your hand, and the Alter Piece will feel like a tool, a torch and a child. They are reflections of personal and cultural life in the digital age, pieces that are designed to be simple, peaceful and pure.
Alter Pieces are available in limited editions and as bespoke commissions.
[Just Keep Taking the Tablets] are also limited edition artworks. A reminder that, years ago, early civilisations were using hieroglyphics, just as we are doing with digital iconography and emojis today.
In some ways, human initiative hasn't changed much. These pieces offer a perspective across centuries of time. They are an invitation to stay grounded, to keep making things of lasting meaning with our hands...and with the tablets we hold in them.
As well as being a ceramicist, I'm also a business designer and strategist. Since 2008 I've run Visceral Business, specialising in digital business modelling, leadership development and change management. I'm a writer and a speaker and the lead for the Open Data Institute in Cornwall, developing a community of people interested in open data.