Process & Inspiration

Diane hand-builds her work with soft slabs of clay and builds up layers with different techniques often taken from other artforms. These could be lithographic printing techniques, mono-printing with ceramic oxides, painting with coloured slip, pressing with textured rollers or using photographic decals. “I like using all sorts of clays and exploring their different qualities.”

“In my youth I was interested in fabric printing and making clothes and originally wanted to study that at art college. I was lured into ceramics in foundation year and found that some of the techniques crossed over into clay- printing, piecing together, working out shapes with paper templates. Our degree course also involved moving about different departments during the first year, so I feel that I don’t need to always stick with ceramics to achieve what I want. I’m not really a purist in that sense.”

Diane is known for her work with lustres which are glazed to 1060 C. She uses several reduced in-glaze lustre glazes which require two separate glaze firings in a gas kiln. The final firing to 725 C in a carefully controlled kiln atmosphere, transforms the glazes to a rich and varied iridescent lustrous surface. Her other work experiments with the delicate paper porcelain clay which is drawn and printed on and is high fired to bring out the translucent qualities of the clay.

She is also interested in the crossover of different disciplines and has been experimenting with ceramics and printmaking techniques to produce porcelain pictures and lighting as well as working with vitreous enamel in a factory setting.

“My shapes and decoration are influenced by forms found in the natural world : birds in the garden , shapes of seed pods, insects and beach worn stones and the different textures of shells and coral. I also look at different cultures for sources of inspiration, particularly the Byzantines for their domed buildings and the Inuit for their decorative tools and domestic utensils. Poetry has been the source for many of my line drawings on pictures and wall murals.”