I have been asked a couple of times recently what inspired me to put solid gold inside my work. To my surprise I found it a really hard question to answer. I thought back to when I first started out and I was experimenting with gold leaf. Conscious of its fragility, I tried to find a way to successfully protect it with sealants, only to discover that when it dried, the gold had lost some of its shine and although still beautiful, I felt it had become slightly diminished. I realised I wanted proper unashamed shiny brightness, hope, optimism and light from my gold. I wanted it to lift my heart, and other's hearts when they saw it. Sometimes doors just fling themselves open in an amazing way when you least expect it, especially after a spell in a dark corridor when you can't find the right door to go through, and this was the way it was for me. First came the clay itself - I was in the right place at the right time when someone dropped out of the clay group, and, on a whim I asked if I could take her place. Then came the kiln; a gift beyond price as it gave me the freedom and opportunity to experiment with different clays and glazes, including lustres. But most important of all are the people, friends old and new, who have helped me with their endless enthusiasm, patience, encouragement, advice and kindness and to all of them I say a big golden thank you. So that is why I put gold in my work. I did it for myself and for everyone else who is looking for light. Happy New Year.