My love affair with clay and ceramics began at the early age of 11, when my mother took me along to a Tuesday pottery class in my hometown of Chemnitz in East Germany. Although my memories of this time are clouded, I still remember how I enjoyed the feeling of working the clay, smoothing the surface of my pots and the satisfaction of holding a finished piece. I think I was hooked straight away.
I did get a little side-lined when I became a civil engineer in 1997 working for international rail projects. However, ceramics have played a part in my life all the time. When I lived in Shanghai, I travelled to see the Terracotta Army, I visited potteries in Portugal, France and Meissen and attended evening classes wherever I lived.
Solidago is the name of a plant that I used to play with as a child and it related to my time growing up. Hence the name of my business. I established the brand in 2017 and am mostly self-taught, learning from books, the internet and sheer determination. I would describe my pieces as functional and beautiful.
My inspiration comes from my German roots, travel experience and the beautiful nature around me, especially my garden. I am slightly obsessed with my pieces being functional and I am sure my training as an engineer can be blamed for that.
I pot full time and also teach in my business @MenstonPottery since 2021.
I use Stoneware and Porcelain clays and work with hand-building techniques such as slab-building and pinching as well as the potter's wheel.
Over the year, I design various collections including garden ware, kitchen/ serving ware and greeting cards.
I am based in Menston, West Yorkshire.