Grimm’s Fairytales have become a new subject for me to investigate new images and stretch my work beyond the clay figure, getting a chance to go back to painting with gouache again – an opaque watercolor.

The impetus for this series began when I was reflecting on my first years of teaching, over forty years ago, in Brighton with my close colleague, Janet Davies.  Janet and I used the Grimm Fairytales to motivate our students as they made papier-mâché hand puppets, painted their own scenery and performed the plays for their class and others. My works, although three dimensional, are fabricated and structured to hang on the wall, built to create their own ‘stages’. Each of the works combines my clay work with additional mediums.

Hare’s Bride Puppet Show has the whole Grimm tale calligraphically written onto the background and the floor of the ‘stage,’ while Red and Big Bad has a quote from the tale that leaves one wondering which character is being quoted.  My imagery leans towards the dark side of the Brothers Grimm’s tales.

As most of my clay work entails – they are usually twice fired, the second time with an oxide-stain. From there they may be fired again with glazes on them, or I’ll have used Prisma-colored pencil for the surface color, added patinas, and any other additions that seem to speak to me. All share my own special stylized-realism.


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