Playing with Clay

At the wheel

At the wheel

A very rare weekend off and away for the whole family! We left the gallery with the wonderful Layla Khoo and Iona Stock, both students at the excellent York College studying ceramics and 3d design. Gallery looks fabulous on our return and our thanks goes out to them both for their hard work and more importantly looking after our baby!

We spent the weekend with Martin Miles-Moore and Siobhan Newton, a married couple who work together at the Miles Moore Pottery in Lancashire. A treat of great food, fine wines, late night outdoor chatting by the Chiminea with the sound of the Church bells every hour.

But we were here to throw pots, not at each other, on the wheel. It's a strange thing, given we've collected ceramics for nearly 15 years, sold them for approaching 5 and never thrown a pot! Our girls had so they jumped in before we had a chance to choose who went first! We each throw a bowl and a plate, or in my case, two bowls, the first of which ended up in the recycle bin!

A new respect was found for wheel worked pieces. There's a knack, one of which is to listen to the instruction! It's beyond therapeutic, beaming smiles of the girls not to mention Kate and I! There's something deeply satisfying about creating something tangible from the very earth beneath our feet! A massive thanks goes out to Siobhan and Martin for their hospitality and patience with the girls and us!

The experience certainly helps us understand the value of the work we sell but also reminds us that the potting world is a wonderous place, full of people willing to share their precious time and knowledge. They deserve a wedge more than they get!

We hope to revisit and see how our skills develop. Following the BBC show 'The Great British Throw Down' now past it's second series, we have seen a rise in the popularity of pots. Many of our potters who offer courses have reported a rise in enrolment with many full for the year ahead. This is a healthy and worthy result from a programme that is a little too unreal for my tastes. My advice is to get out there and enjoy the clay but collect too! It's amazing how the clay seems to capture a memory, bringing back in full Technicolour when you pick it up and feel the textures in your hands.

Whatever your level, pottery is a skill as rudimentary as they come and like gardening brings a feel good factor beyond expectations and should be explored. 

Once again a massive thank you to Martin and Siobhan for providing us with so much fun and knowledge! We will be stocking both Martin's and Siobhan's work in the gallery from this week with 12 pieces coming back to start with. I'll be taking photos of them during the week.