Born in Scotland, Craig studied ceramics in Derbyshire, at Harrow College, and then at Portsmouth Polytechnic followed by a graduate assistantship at University of Eastern Illinois, USA. He now works from his studio in Cornwall.
In 2004 and 2006, Underhill was awarded Arts Council grants to produce and promote new bodies of work. Since 1997 he has lectured in Ceramics at Dudley College, and has exhibited extensively in the UK, France and The Netherlands. In 2013 he was an invited artist at the Landscape and Ceramics Symposium in Kecskemet, Hungary.
“I am a ceramic artist who uses mark making and drawing techniques to create rich, painterly surfaces on slab built vessel forms that suggest landscape I have visited or travelled through.
I prefer the softer surface that is achieved by using my hands to make a slab, as opposed to the harder and flatter finish achieved with a slab roller.
Texture is added to the soft slab of clay. Simple wooden tools are used to draw lines into the leatherhard surface. Coloured engobe is used like paint to create the surface imagery. I am cutting shapes from a slab ready to assemble into vessel forms. Pressure is applied with my fingers to make the joins secure. The vessel form is built up using sections of clay. A slab of clay is made bigger by throwing and stretching. I generally work on a group of 4 or 5 pieces at the same time.”