David is taking part in our coming Makers and Designers Market at Turner Contemporay on 4th and 5th December.
Describe what you do as a creative.
I create both functional and decorative ceramics. I make a variety of pieces and ﬁre at diﬀerent temperatures for diﬀerent eﬀects. I am currently particularly interested in Raku surfaces, which have been described as painting with smoke. I have also been producing a variety of tall wheel thrown vessels as blank canvases for my wife to use for her landscape and ﬁgure painting.
Tell us brieﬂy about yourself.
After art college, Wimbledon and Farnham, we painted and taught English in Sicily for three years, experiencing the heat and light of a diﬀerent world. I taught art in secondary schools for 35 years, before setting up my own ceramic studio. We return as often as possible to Sicily for the light and its eﬀect on colour.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
No idea what growing up means. Is it the thing you do before you settle down? I used to really enjoy growing plants and vegetables when I was a kid and selling them at the end of the road, and was very interested in being a farmer, but unfortunately didn’t have a farm. My favourite school report comment before I went to secondary school was “David takes a keen interest in the school garden, often digging up the plants to see if they are growing.”
How did you begin doing what you do?
I have always taught in well equipped schools with access to a variety of creative facilities. Photography, ceramics, painting et cetera.
My ﬁne art degree was fairly multi disciplinary and I hope pupils were able to create in which ever media suited. Having access to pottery wheels in the classroom was wonderful and we made good use of them. The minute I retired from teaching I bought my own wheel and kiln, and set up davefroudeceramics.
What turns on your creativity?
Inﬂuences include ancient pottery I have seen in museums and whilst mud larking. The idea of creating objects that can be useful and attractive and literally do not have a shelf life but will last forever has always inspired me. Three years in Sicily with all its history, climate and colours created my passion for traditional form, natural materials and permanence. I am appalled at the continuing use of non-recyclable plastic in our local cafés and eateries. Also the fact that less than 10% of what we put in the recycling bin is actually recycled. Seriously no excuse anymore.
What do you like best about your work?
Seeing new glaze combinations come together after experimentation and research is always exciting, opening the kiln door to see unique pieces never dulls. Using kilns that involves ﬂame and ﬁre, leaving eﬀects on the surfaces. Potters tend to be a very collaborative species, everybody having something to learn and something to teach.
Describe a memorable response to your work?
We must have more of this.
What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?
The most exciting part of my work at the moment is the collaboration with Laura Froude I create the surfaces and she makes the marks. She has always had a passion for equality, diversity and creativity and the pieces we are creating together embody these ideas.
What is your dream project?
My dream project is replacing plastic plates, cups and glasses in commercial spaces with handmade thoughtful lifetime ceramics.
Delighted other that the Indian railway system is replacing plastic tea cups with traditional earthenware pottery cups known as kulhads.
Which artists / creative people are your heroes / inspiring ﬁgures?
Shoji Hamada it’s not only one of the greatest potters the world has ever seen, he had the interest and passion for the subject to inﬂuence Bernard Leach and help set up the ﬁrst studio pottery in Saint-Ives. The return of locally hand made ceramics started there and we all have a tremendous debt to him.
Your idea of happiness?
For me happiness is potting and painting with my granddaughter.
What art/creativity related book should everyone read?
Bernard Leach “life and work”
Tell us a lesson life has taught you.
We do, doodley do. doodley do,
What we must, muddily must, muddily must. Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do.
TIL we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.