I daydreamed my way through school, imagining myself walking in the footsteps of the Japanese potter Hamada Shoji, A Potter's Book by the father of British studio pottery, Bernard Leach, my constant companion.I followed school with a Diploma in Ceramics at Epsom School of Art and Design but after failed attempts to secure a pottery apprenticeship I abandoned my dreams of becoming a potter. Since then I have followed a varied career path that has included the auction business, Buddhist studies, teaching English in Japan, graphics and most recently psychotherapy.
After a very difficult period of illness a couple of years ago I found myself a profoundly changed person. Craving joy and a simpler existence I realised I wanted to return to my first love, working with clay. I couldn't believe it when I found Turning Earth in nearby Dalston, an 'open access' ceramics studio which gave me the opportunity to rebuild my skills. This journey has now led me to St Ives in Cornwall where I rent a space at The Gaolyard Studios, a collection of nine studios and a communal kiln room in the heart of St Ives owned and run by the potter John Bedding. I am in the process of settling into a new life by the sea and developing a range of domestic ware with local Cornish clay.
My return to working with clay after such a long break has been enlightening and inspiring. It feels a lot like I have come home.
"The nature of the attention one brings to bear on anything alters what one finds."
IAIN McGILCHRIST, THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY
A BALANCE OF LEFT AND RIGHT
"The right hand is the motor in carving, and the left hand is the thinking, feeling hand... The left hand senses the organic structure of the material as it feels its way about the form."
BARBARA HEPWORTH, in BARBARA HEPWORTH, A FILM BY JOHN READ, 1961