Wednesday 17 August 2011


This week it's been goodbye to Allie, who has moved up to Edinburgh. I have been so lucky to have had Allie's help and support over the last few years, just the perfect person at the right time. I'll miss her a lot, not only for her capacity to eat up jobs, but also for her good company, humour and patience.

Last week we fairly 'beasted' through the work and I now have shelves filled with this years Hard Rock Challenge prizes, plus a good batch of jugs and mugs drying out. So huge thanks Allie!

It will be another significant change at the pottery. I see it as an opportunity to reflect on where I have travelled to over the last few years, and where I am going.

Here is a pretty straight forward bit of advice cut out from a junk-mail banking leaflet.

But if possible I am hoping make less pots, at least for a few months this Autumn, and spend some time developing the more individual 'pieces'.

I choose the word 'pieces' deliberately.

My good friends from art college, potter Sue Dunne, and mask make Stephen Jon, have been staying this week. I asked their opinion about the use of the term 'sculpture' as in 'ceramic sculpture'. I have never been happy with this description, it conjures up something which I don't feel I make. I tried using the term once in a 'Spring Fling' brochure, only to have one woman remark, "Lovely pots, but where's the sculpture'? which only confirmed my discomfort with the word. But if one leaves the safety net of even a hint of function behind, as does 'Out of Sink', what exactly does it become?


  1. Allie's departure will be a big change for you. Hope things go well for her in Edinburgh.

    Many people here refer to themselves as "Ceramic Artists" and other such grand titles... and seem to turn their noses up at the earthy and human title, "potter". Maybe there is some rightness in this choice of title, as their hearts are not in the same place as the heart of a potter, and this is reflected in their work, use of materials and the structure their lives and careers. In my own case, in spite of spending many years as a painter (thus known as "an artist"), I still aspire with greater enthusiasm to being a potter, and that is what I call myself when challenged for a description even if I feel that I haven't quite earned it yet!

    I think that if I made sculpture, and I do sometimes, I would call it sculpture, because that is what it is, and that is what it was intended to be. As soon as the word "ceramic" is added to the label "sculpture" I think that it becomes "loaded" with other associations.

    Loved your "Out of Sink" pun and all!

  2. Lovely flying cats!

    Hope they don't land in pieces :)

  3. Love the cats. Jeremy James a ceramic artist is a teacher of pottery.

    I suppose the difference is that a potter makes pots of various kinds. The non-functional pieces are visual art.

    Then again, Grayson Perry makes pots that are both 'art' but could be functional. So as the maker, call it what you like! Nothing wrong with calling it sculpture if you like.