Currently, I work with ceramics and textiles creating one off pieces that explore personal stories, snippets of nature and pattern (ranging from mark making through to lettering).
My journey started surrounded by lots of crayons, cardboard boxes and tape, creating absolute mayhem whilst my family tiptoed through the carnage! As I got older, I used to love making clothes for my dolls on my mum's tiny blue sewing machine from her childhood and like many others I adored a good rummage through my grandma's button tin. I was also a massive fan of plasticine and loved Morph! These days opening a pack takes me right back to my childhood. By the way, this is me on my 2nd birthday. My mum had saved hard to get a professional set of photos taken. I can't believe just how red my hair is!
I had a creative childhood & loved most subjects at school (particularly languages, taking GCSEs in French, German and Latin!). I studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated with a First Class BA Hons degree in Crafts having decide to specialise in Ceramics and Textiles.
Straight after university, I got a job working for Next Interiors in Manchester but had to travel to Chester each day as the Manchester Bomb had decimated most of Manchester's Next. I left Next to work as an Occupational Therapy assistant on a secure mental health unit. This was where I realised that I loved working creatively with people and decided to apply for a PGCE in Secondary Education.
In the meantime, my ceramic sculptures enabled me to win the 9th Inax Design Prize for Europeans alongside Daniel Levi from Amsterdam! A residency in Tokoname, Japan was part of my life changing prize. I delighted in being fully immersed in a different culture and cycling past stunning wooden buildings on my way to the studio. I hope to return to Japan one day to learn more about Japanese pottery traditions.
Returning home from Japan, I went straight onto the PGCE course & afterwards worked as an Art Teacher for almost 2 decades. During this time, I took on the role of Community Arts Coordinator and managed some incredible projects including one that was made into a mini documentary for Manchester TV.
In 2016, I moved from Manchester back to Nottinghamshire, where I set up Bus and Bird Arts which I still run (although covid 19 has made it extremely tricky). With Bus and Bird Arts, I have been Lead Artist for two Heritage Fund Projects (excitingly appearing in a 30 minute film at Mansfield's Odeon), Project Manager for Mansfield Museum's audience development project & amongst other things regularly work with Big Fish Little Fish swapping classrooms for nightclubs!
Alongside my passion for participatory arts, I continue to make my own art work as 'Curious Clare' which I very much enjoy. I create in a small garden studio (known affectionately as The Shed of Dreams) and delight in watching the local wildlife from my shed windows.
Cheerfully creating with mud, colour & nature
My practice is multi-disciplinary. Predominantly I work in three-dimensions focusing upon the natural world and storytelling.
Currently, I am spending time exploring the concept of play. I aim to ‘tread lightly’ with my consumption of resources by reusing materials and experimenting with my own homemade inks or glazes created from waste products and natural materials.