Carpentry was Andrew Dowden's trade for twenty years; during research of Isle of Wight pottery - watching a bowl being thrown on a wheel - he was inspired to take up ceramics, now an absorbing pastime.
Andrew's work is more sculptural than functional - each piece being hand-thrown, hand-thrown and joined, or slab-built and joined. Hand-carving and textured surfaces are his main interest. Each piece, whether a standing form or wall-hanging plaque, is individually designed, with design and form being more important than any particular function.
A red earthenware clay body is favoured, having a warmth and glow not readily found in other clay bodies, and also a buff earthenware. A limited palette of slips and glazes allows the clay to become an integral part of the surface design. Andrew's recent work includes a cranked black clay body.
Ideas for hand-carving are inspired by the surrounding sea and countryside in the Isle of Wight - tracks made by man, machine, and by nature, leaving their imprint on the earth. Archaeology, architecture, machinery and engineering, add further interest to designs.
Andrew strives to achieve new design forms, with complementary surface textures and patterns.