Francheska works mostly in white earthenware and stoneware, both on the electric wheel and building with slabs and coils, creating functional and decorative pieces. She says ‘I first started playing with the wonderfully versatile material that is clay at evening classes after the arrival of my fourth child. I found that trying to get four small children to bed in time to arrive for the beginning of the evening class almost impossible. As there weren’t enough wheels for everyone to throw when they wanted I spent much the first year hand-building. An obstinate streak told me that if I could master throwing, then I could prove that hand-building was a choice. I saved up and bought myself an electric wheel and installed it in the (carpeted) spare room. I have barely switched it off since, and the carpet has long-gone!’ Francheska now works in a purpose-designed studio at her home in Winchester.
‘A passion for colour’ has meant that surface decoration has become an integral part of Francheska’s work. She uses numerous techniques to apply colour in the form of slips and underglazes in multiple layers, combined with wax resist and sgraffito. Much of her ceramic learning has been at West Dean College in West Sussex, on short courses with tutors such as Alison Sandeman, Carolyn Genders, Duncan Hooson, Tim Andrews and Akiko Hirai. However with no previous formal art training (although a brief stint working in photography and graphic design has proved useful), Francheska embarked in 2012 on the Foundation in Art and Design at West Dean. She followed this with a Foundation in Print-making at Red Hot Press, Southampton and a six month course at City Lit in Covent Garden, called City Lit Ceramics. She is an active member of the drawing group City Sketchers, based in Winchester and guided by artist and print-maker Kate Dicker, and also attends a weekly workshop at Farnham 318 under the guidance of tutor Luisa Cacciotti.
Her inspiration comes from day to day life, particularly when out on walks with Olive, her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, searching for indigenous butterflies.