Born in London, Ray Toms was brought up in Cornwall, one of the sources of his inspiration. He is mostly self-taught, although he credits mastering the basic skills to a much admired local tutor. He also trained at West Herts College. His pots are made from high-fired stoneware from clay sourced from St. Agnes in Cornwall. The glazes are mostly made by using locally sourced ash from different types of wood to create a variety of colours, and the slips are made mainly from porcelain. Toms' ceramics draw their influence from the Anglo-Japanese tradition. The deeply fluid textured surfaces of his pots, reflect the rugged drama of the Cornish landscape and moving water of his youth, interpreted in a contemporary way.