After visiting Fairfield Mill I made contact with Nigel and arranged to meet at his studio. It was Nigel's mountain landscape work which caught my eye. I liked the way he showed layers and texture along with the colours created by adding colour to slip.
I was made to feel very welcome by the couple. Nigel spoke of their 'annus horrible' as they had both suffered ill health in 2016. Nigel is only just returning to his work.
He spoke of how he started in the art and his work with Wendy Lawrence and Peter Beard for the RHS. A walk around his garden provided a potted history of his development and his collection was like a diary. Below are some of Nigel's early pieces which bear no resemblance to his current work.
An interesting piece was one Nigel had made for a show where the ceramicists had their own 'competition' amongst themselves. He had asked fellow potters to provide a fragment of a piece of work which had broken yet showed their distinctive style. He arranged them in little windows. I don't recall the title of the work, which annoys me. However, I do recognise a certain piece by a Ms Lawrence!
Inside Nigel's workshop he showed me current work and his store room where he kept his 'bread and butter' pieces, planters made from craft crank. Although all different, they are the same size and shape. These pieces sell well which allow him to be creative on more individual sculptures.
Nigel's ceramics and Libby's painting both compliment each other and remind me of a painting a did 13 years ago of Blencathra. It was for mum and dads Ruby Wedding as they met on the mountain. They went up with a big group, the mist came down and mum and dad came down holding hands!