Recently we were visiting some old friends in London and, as they were asking me about my porcelain, I felt the palms of my hands change and I just yearned to hold some clay. This isn't the first time this has happened and it makes me realise how much I love this stuff and how important it has become to me. Porcelain is quite cold and lifeless when you first pull it out of its bag but as soon as you begin to work it it comes alive, becomes warm and pliable and smooth and feels just beautiful; the result of a sort of alchemy between the earth and human touch. Maybe it's because it comes from the earth that it makes me feel grounded but, whatever is happening in my life, within minutes of holding it, I feel back on course. I'm a hand-builder and I usually start by holding a ball of clay in the palm of my left hand. I press my right thumb or index finger into the middle of this ball and begin to pull the clay up into a bowl shape. I never know what will appear but therein lies the joy of the whole thing. I'm passionate about working with clay and I feel very lucky to be doing something I love so much.