A HEREFORD artist who inspired the blind has died from cancer aged 45.

Simon Carroll was an ingenious potter who broke the mould. He was a brilliant showman who loved to demonstrate his skills, while his ceramics were displayed in the Tate and abroad.

Simon was born in Hereford on November 13, 1964, and returned to the city for his final years.

A creative student who was inspired by Picasso and Pollack, he developed his skills at the Hereford College of Arts and UWE in Bristol.

He would eventually settle in the south-west, where he developed a studio on a disused airfield in Cornwall. He was awarded the Arts Foundation Prize in 2004 while a major exhibition of his work appeared at Tate St Ives in 2006.

While the latter was considered his breakthrough, he owed much of his success to his time in the Marches.

Intrigued by the notion of touch, he became artist in residence at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in the early 1990s.

He used the clay in new forms, while his tenure inspired dozens of students and some of his best work.

Simon was also a regular at The Barrels and was friends with landlord and Wye Valley Brewery chairman Peter Amor.

The artist produced ceramic pump clips for several Wye Valley brands, which hang in the Stoke Lacy offices today.

“He was a lovely man and the pumps he made for us were wonderfully artistic,” said Mr Amor.

“He knew quite a few of the people here and we’re very sorry to hear of his death.”

After being diagnosed with liver cancer, he focused on drawing but also provided lectures and exhibitions around the world.

Simon Philip Carroll died on March 31 and is survived by his parents and two brothers.