Mark’s Black and White studio ceramics were a hit when he last appeared here. He brings a new and often rather quirky aspect to domestic ware and he has a deft decorator’s hand and an endlessly creative imagination. His work is cast earthenware which is decorated with often complex but fascinating designs. He sees his pieces as a contemporary take on traditional Staffordshire slipware.
He also enjoys sculpting which he starts with hand-modelled or lathe-turned shapes, along with found objects. From these he makes plaster moulds which he uses to translate the shapes into clay components. From his extensive library of moulds, he slipcasts components in white earthenware which, later, he joins when leather hard. Once composition of the piece is complete, he decorates the green ware with slip-trailed and brushed slips. After the initial firing, he glazes with a combination of underglazes and brightly coloured earthenware glazes. Finally, in a third lustre firing he applies metallic lustres and touches of liquid bright gold and platinum.
His decorative style is influenced by his interests in the modish textiles and surface patterns of the 1950s such as Ridgway’s ‘Homemaker’ pattern, and in pre-Hispanic South American and Australian Aboriginal art.