Based in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney in Australia, Rob makes handmade pottery and teaches ceramics part time at WSI, Nepean College.
"In my recent work I'm trying to gently persuade the clay to an expressive form, by letting go some of the precise technique and control that I spent so long developing. Textured facets are cut with homemade wire tools, and the clay is shaped by gently expanding with one hand. Normally, the clay needs both hands to keep it under control on the wheel, but using a hand on the outside of these pots would spoil the texture of the wire cuts. So as the clay has to be gently coaxed out, one handed. The pot may wobble and twist a little, but the texture grows, and the gesture of how it was made is left showing.
As a teacher, I try to influence by persuasion and example, without demanding control. Exercising authority kind of appeals to my darker nature. It seems quicker, more efficient and, of course, you don’t want to keep seeing the same mistakes. But it doesn’t allow for the hope that your own imagination may be exceeded.
Sometimes pots and students can come out better if they have a bit of space."