Penny started making pots in Japan. She loved the delicious food there and the way it was served on hand-made pots. The variety of tableware used in homes and restaurants was very inspiring. She started pottery classes and travelled widely in Japan to visit the many pottery areas. In getting to grips with the Japanese language of pottery, she wrote “The Japanese Pottery Handbook” (Kodansha 1979).
After a two year apprenticeship at Dartington Pottery, she chose to work with red earthenware clay. Penny loves the warm colour of the clay and the decorative possibilities of using coloured slips with a few simple glazes. The slips are brushed, trailed and poured to get different effects. She often uses a ‘sgraffito’ technique, incising through layers of slip to the clay colour underneath.
Her inspiration for decoration comes mainly from nature. Walking in the Devon countryside, the trees and plants provide a wealth of inspiration.
A recent trip to Australia provided inspiration for some new work, after spending time looking at Aboriginal art and artefacts. This inspired an earthier colour palette and new designs.
She has worked at her present workshop in a small Dartmoor village for the last 25 years and enjoys working with her apprentices.