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 black cranked clay body.
Ideas for hand-carving are derived from many sources: the surrounding sea and countryside - tracks made by man, machine and by nature, leaving their imprint on the earth; architecture, machinery and engineering, and a fascination and interest in rock formations, ancient sites and monuments add further interest.
Andrew strives to achieve new design forms, with complementary surface textures and patterns.