I've been making ceramics for a few years now. In fact, if we count my childhood, then quite a few years really. My mother taught me ceramics and we work closely together in Manchester. She taught me to throw, but also a broad spectrum of skills in hand-building, decoration and glazing, which seems to be rare in the field of ceramics. It takes much time to develop the skills, so potters generally need to focus on a particular technique. I haven't always worked in ceramics, I've only really been focusing on it in the past few years, where I've done it full-time. ⠀
Previously I studied Clinical Neuropsychology in the Netherlands and worked in research. This subject deals with neurological conditions. Basically, any brain disease, like dementia, or brain damage, such as from a traffic accident. There I learnt to conduct Neurospsychological assessments which help diagnose disease and give information on the localisation of damage in the brain. They really help to suggest if someone needs a brain scan, which is much more expensive. A massive part is also treatment. It's quite a departure from ceramics. I very much enjoyed learning about our brains and the mind and it was my plan to become a Neuropsychologist.⠀
Every time I returned to Manchester I made a lot of pottery, I really enjoyed it. I hadn't actually considered it as a career until I returned for a longer period. I enjoyed it so much I wondered how I could work less in an office and more in a pottery studio. There was a period where I basically had a daytime job and then taught classes in the evenings too, and made my own work on the weekends, without any hours to spare. But in doing this I was then able to test the waters and to quit my office job. Now I split my time making my work, selling it, teaching some classes, and a whole lot of technician work too. It's an enjoyable work life and I couldn't imagine wanting to do another job. Though I am eager for some change. It was always my dream to be both a potter and a psychologist. Is it unrealistic?⠀
Pictured are bisque fired plates and some greenware mugs, which will look like the plates once fired. I'm still developing a glaze for them (so close!).