Cherry has been a potter for over forty years. Of Egyptian descent, she trained in Canterbury but developed her unique forms, decorations and colours through life and work among the inspiring potters of East Africa and Malaysia during the 1970s and 80s. Now with studios in central France and Canterbury, Cherry concentrates on decorative pottery using amongst other methods the ancient Japanese technique of Raku. White-hot pots are lifted from the kiln and either plunged, hissing and steaming into sawdust and water or are presented with horsehair, leaves and feathers which fuse carbonised marks into the body of the pot. The results are unpredictable and unrepeatable. The finished pieces with their carefully incised patterns and pure shapes show the evidence of their stressful birth in the surface crackle, pits and accidents characteristic of this Zen-inspired process.
Between 2016 and 2018 Cherry organised the first ‘Canterbury Throwdown’, a free event as part of the Canterbury Festival. The Throwdown was opened and sponsored by Keith Brymer Jones from the BBC series, involved over 50 potters for two weeks providing an opportunity for 750 local participants to hand-build or throw a pot on the wheel.
Cherry has taught in Canterbury prison, special schools, primary and secondary schools and a retirement home for elderly residents with dementia. In 2018 she presented a special schools project on ‘identity’ in the Turner Museum in Margate.