Being brought up close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been a gift and an education to James from a very young age. The aesthetic of Barbara Hepworth’s work is almost ingrained in him, as though it were the basis of his consciousness of texture, proportion, line and form. After completing a foundation course at Dewsbury Art College, James spent two weeks in the ceramics department working with renowned Raku Ceramist David Roberts. He was immediately drawn to clay as a material. Later, upon graduation from Loughborough and then the Royal College of Art in 2001, James set up a studio in London for several years before returning to his native Yorkshire in 2005.