Mark was born in 1956 in South Shropshire. Like many others his life was determined when he failed the 11+ and went to the local secondary modern school. But an inspirational art teacher, a contemporary of Mick Casson who had trained with Mick at Harrow, encouraged him to take up pottery and a lifelong passion began. Mark got his first job working as a thrower for Colin Carr, a slab builder in Derbyshire.
Next Mark worked for sculptor Fritz Stellar at the Square One Design Workshop, near Stratford-on-Avon. Fritz was a charismatic entrepreneur. When Mark wasn’t throwing pots he worked on huge ceramic murals for the emerging new town centres. But it was the time spent with Russell Collins, one of the finest teachers and throwers and the most patient man Mark knows, that gave him the confidence to set up his first workshop in 1975 with the help of a New Craftsman’s Grant of £1600 from the CAC.
From there Mark moved to West Wales but it was the 1980s and tastes had changed again. Stoneware domestic pots were hard to sell and Mark made thousands of terracotta bird feeders and parsley pots for mail order firms which paid the mortgage and helped him move back to South Shropshire. There Mark rebuilt his workshop in a redundant village school where he continues to work today. He made terracotta garden pots for many years, undertaking big commissions for the National Trust and other estates until the physical toll of working on such a scale forced a return to high fired stoneware about twelve years ago. So Mark has come full circle, back to where he started forty years ago.