Martin was born in South Africa in 1957 to Scottish/German parents. The family returned to the UK when he was nine. At high school he was introduced to the Japanese idea of ‘the beauty in imperfection’. After a foundation year at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art (Dorset) he started as the first trainee at the Dartington Pottery Training Workshop in Devon. Then in 1983, with five years of experience in European and Japanese workshops he set up his own studio in North Germany.
Based in Germany, Martin is an internationally acclaimed artist, with award winning pieces in museums and galleries all over the world.
Martin describes his work as ‘ Clay – Water – Wood – Fire – Space’. These five elements are synthesised to create a reversed trompe-l’œil type of work, seemingly excavated or revealed, and simultaneously diminishing the third dimension.
“In my personal universe there is a space-time reality locked up in those simple clay forms – the jar and the bowl as archetypal forms. I felt they go a lot deeper than we can imagine. What a major cultural change that must have been when we began to store and share food in those simple forms. I have been considering a history of mistakes. Slipping into a new space – shifting from trying to copy the work I liked so much to more the idea of them and all the beauty and shortcomings of clay, water and fire. Instead of imitating, I work on re-presenting. Recently I have been thrilled to notice the shift in the approach to the restoration of vessels. Instead of attempting to plug missing areas – a space is left for your imagination to fill. “