Craig Underhill was born in Glasgow and in 1985 he left school and started a full time course in general art and design at Derbyshire College of HE. In 1987 he undertook an HND ceramics course at Harrow College followed by BA Hons in Fine Art specialising in Ceramics at Portsmouth Polytechnic which he achieved in 1987.
In 1990 he set up Bartonfields Pottery with partner Emma Spence and started teaching at Burton College. Seven years later he moved to Stourbridge; started lecturing at Dudley College and built a new studio in the garden.
Although the influences on Craig’s work evolve and change, the landscape remains a constant source of inspiration and fascination. The forms he makes are deliberately asymmetrical and often have stepped edges around the rim that not only refer to the making process, but also suggest steps or movement in the landscape. He slab builds his work and likes to make the slabs by hand to create a softer textured surface which is more reminiscent of undulating ground as opposed to the hard flat surface created on a slab roller.
He treats his ceramic vessels as forms to apply paintings to. The marks are built up with combinations of engobes, stains, glazes and oxides. Much of the inspiration for the imagery on his vessels comes from marks he sees in the landscape that could be man made, formed by the effects of weather and erosion or that simply occur naturally.