I live in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK (a hotbed of creative industries) and earn my living from designing, making, and selling handmade ceramic wall clocks on-line through my business Art Clocks. I feel that creativity has a lot to do with developing and using useful habits and attitudes: this blog explores this mainly through discussion grounded in my current and past experiences.
I am married to Jenny Biancardi.
Before starting my current business, I was a primary school teacher and was very fortunate to work for a head teacher who was very interested in creative teaching approaches. During this time I ran an experiential workshop annually at Newcastle University – and at a National Creativity Conference – about a brilliant creative teaching approach called Mantle of the Expert. Also during this time I did a Masters’ degree in Education at Newcastle University, enquiring into educational and creativity issues from historical, theoretical, and my own class-room practice perspectives.
Preceding primary school teaching, I spent about ten years as a self-employed studio potter. As well as making, I taught pottery evening classes, did bits of teaching at Newcastle College, and did increasing numbers of workshops in schools.
There have been many parts to my career. Before doing studio ceramics, I did computer systems analysis and programming consultancy work for large organisations through my own company. I was interested in the theory and processes behind high-quality reliable systems, as well as producing those systems.
Preceding my arrival in the UK, I spent a year hitch hiking around Europe when I was twenty-four.
I gained my systems analysis skills, over three years, in my first job which was in Wellington, New Zealand.
My first degree was a Science degree in Genetics and Plant Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington. During this time I was also Chair of the University Environment Group. As well as science, I was also interested in the philosophy of science, which – as Wikipedia states – is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods, implications of science, and with the use and merit of science.
My secondary school was Wellington College.
My primary school was Kelburn Normal School. (That ‘Normal’ meant that the school supported trainee teachers.)
I was born in New Zealand to parents who had emigrated from England, and spent my early years living on a farm before the family moved to the capital city Wellington.