I made my first pot when I was 7 years old. My teacher was interested in modelling terra cotta and fortunately for us he allowed his enthusiasm for potter to overflow into his teaching. My school was Clevedon, Somerset where there were two places of interest for this budding young potter: Clevedon Court, where Elton Ware was produced during the early part of the 20th Century and Clevedon Pottery run by the Fishley-Holland Family. I remember well our school trips to the Holland Pottery and being fascinated especially by the throwing, but also the turning and slip decorating techniques of the old guys working there together with their 14 year old apprentices learning the craft.
Something in those early images must have lodged in my young brain because somehow I knew that one day I would become a potter. As I grew older music became a big part of my life but in the back of my mind I knew secretly that clay would win out and somewhere deep down the choice had to be made. I had to make pots.
I am talking about the 1950’s and 60’s here and I can still see myself at 7 years old watching those guys at the pottery deftly manipulating and transforming this magical stuff we call clay into shapes and forms that seemed to appear out of nowhere. I suppose what I’ve been trying to do ever since then, over 50 years on, is to attempt to capture that magic and include just a tiny bit of it, if I’m fortunate enough, into my work.