Ali came to ceramics after twenty years as partner of a creative design consultancy in London. As an antidote to computers and managing a company she tried ceramics and found it completely absorbed her. She soon found that porcelain was her material, because of the smooth surface it has for her marks to sit on and because of the quality of the material itself; the fluidity when wet and the fragile appearance, but surprising strength, when finished.
Her work is in porcelain with most surfaces unglazed and sanded to a smooth finish. The pieces are very tactile, encouraging you to follow the lines and shapes around the forms and feel the indentations made by the markings. Some are glazed inside, like a shell that is hard and glossy inside but sanded to a smooth finish by the sea on the outside. Much of the surface is left in the natural white of the porcelain, allowing the colours used to be clean and fresh against it.
Ali's design background definitely influences her work and she is also constantly trying new things out. Inspired by the most simple of marks, be they linear or graphic, natural, man made or sometimes happily accidental.
"All of my work is in porcelain and individually wheel thrown. Most pieces are glazed only on the inside and sanded on other surfaces to achieve a soft, tactile finish. I like to leave the porcelain clean and white, giving me a clean canvas to play with marks, lines and texture.
Even though they appear fragile, everything can be used."