James trained at Harrow College, made ranges of tableware for The Conran Shop, Designer’s Guild and Egg. Pots from this period were often featured in magazines like World of Interiors, Elle Decoration and Country Living. He has held solo shows of more individual pieces at The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh), Egg (London) and Charleston Farmhouse (E.Sussex). James was also Artist-in-Residence at Charleston.

‘All my pots are, as always, made from red earthenware clay which is slipped with a lighter coloured clay, and glazed, possibly with a second layer. Many pots are thrown and often altered immediately – for example scalloped or fluted. Increasingly I like making pots free-hand or with simple wooden moulds. This enables one to make pots that aren’t round. I like the way pots enter our lives stealthily, benignly, and exert their quiet influence. As companions, offering beauty, comfort, practical service, sensuous experience all in a modest almost subliminal way. This is the beauty of pottery – that it lives side by side with us not calling for attention, and not provoking self-consciousness. But allowing, as it were by slow release, discoveries of depth and detail. This is why I would always make mugs, cups, drinking vessels generally. Of all pots the cup is the one we have the most intimate relation with. We raise it to our lips, we cradle it, we wash it. Daily, several times a day. We have favourites. We cast our eye over their shelved ranks. We select or reject them according to our mood or according to some inward inclination we are hardly aware of. These latest pots I hope have taken some influence from local hedgerows and weather, as well as certain types of Japanese and European pottery. They are of a scale – my preferred scale – that invites being picked up, felt and used.’