China Girls Abroad


Dragon couple 

I am a self-taught artist, with a lot of help from friends along the way. I first started working with clay at the age of 14 at the local art school on Saturday mornings and I never looked back.  I have managed to continue working with clay, one way or another, ever since.


I really believe that nearly all grown-ups still live with their inner child.  Children have great imaginations and love dragons and rainbows – and most of us, maybe secretly, still believe in them, no matter what our age. 


Dragon tin


My dragons are made in porcelain, fired in a kiln to 1250 deg Celsius.  It seems very appropriate that dragons are made in such heat.  Sometimes I leave them in pure uncoloured porcelain and sometimes I colour them with bright enamels and metallic lustres.  Each dragon has its own distinct character, demanding its own finish.


Dragon embroidery


Every global culture has its own dragon, each and every one having its own shapes, colours and legends. It’s hard to believe but even after so many centuries of legend and belief, nobody has actually managed to see, capture or photograph a dragon.  I find this very helpful because, as nobody has really seen one, nobody can tell me that I’ve got the anatomy or other detail wrong.  Imagination is a wonderful thing.



Smiling me:)


 If I smile when I am working, as often I do, then I trust that the piece will communicate with the audience and make them smile too.  You can buy many things, but you cannot buy smiles!


Dragon clock


 A good few years ago I had a commission to make a pair of dragons – male and female – to be presented by an English businessman to a Chinese company. The dragons were flown as hand luggage from London to Beijing. I would have thought that they could have made the journey all on their own!  Dragons can fly everywhere and anywhere.


The Flower of Love


 Some years ago Prince Charles purchased two porcelain boxes from me as Christmas gifts. I have no idea who received them, but they were very romantic in design.  One was in pure white porcelain with a beautiful single rose on the top.  I have also met Prince Charles, who admired my work very much.


Mice having breakfast on dragon belly 

 I have made so many different things in porcelain over the years, from fairy tale castles to wedding cakes.  Mice have been an important topic as they can be charming and amusing in so many different settings.


Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland 

 I work with my fingers, dental tools and scalpels! As I have a small kiln, I can only make small sculptures. This really suits the detailed work for which I am known. Everything you see is completely hand built. All the scales and whiskers are made on by one and applied individually to each dragon. All the flowers are patiently assembled petal by petal, one by one. There is no way in which I can mass-produce my work.  This makes every piece simply unique. 




The lovely photos showed here are just a few of the many dragons I have made so far – I am sure that there are still many waiting in my imagination, just queuing up to take their shape in clay. 


I have been living here on the Isle of Arran for nearly ten years with my husband Keith and Sam, our dog.  When people living on the Isle of Arran discovered that I make dragons, they soon gave me the nickname of “the Dragon Lady”.  I think this is great fun and a great compliment.  ”Oh, so you’re the Dragon Lady” is the greeting when I meet somebody for the first time!


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