"They approached me as a sculptor and asked me to think of an idea to do with the docklands development. I came up with the idea of migration and birds. It was one of the major ports for going to the Americas, and the slave trade coming in. It just seemed to fit so concisely and was seaside oriented. So the initial idea was seabirds. Then the idea came up that we would make this unit with all the young people's work as a public display, permanent display. My expertise with firing combined materials was one of the reasons they asked me to get involved."
(See 'community projects' for more information on this collaboration.)
Ian's career has taken him into a great many areas of the ceramic spectrum, including salt glazed stoneware, lifesize statuary, raku and mixed media installation. He was one of the first potters to experiment with what has become called paperclay and he is an inavaterive kiln builder who is able and often does build a kiln in a few hours for a specific piece of sculpture. He is even an accomplished watercolour painter and before ceramics became the focal point in his life, he was a successful actor appearing frequently on stage, television and film.
Ian's work can been seen in many public and private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA. His most recent work is by far his most challenging, both in production and to the viewers sensibilities. His dogs can be savage, menacing and sometimes sinister as they crouch with exaggerated limbs, waiting to pounce and bite. His animals can be disturbing as well as comic, with fat lazy pigs and sleeping dogs cleverly depicted with ample folds of flabby flesh apparently quickly and easily achieved in impressionistic style, with clay being allowed to be clay, yet managing to capture the muscle tone and skeletal features with minimum effort.