I spent last winter deep in a post Mud and Ink lethargy, twelve months of single minded concentration on a project will do that to a person. I was tired, the weather was cold and snowy and the studio was freezing. I did not have any reason to be in my studio, other than my first born child’s insistence that I make something to sell with her at the markets, that it would be good for me. I ignored Veronica and spent the winter reading and faffing about recharging my creative batteries and eating licorice allsorts by the fire.
Finally I could ignore Veronica no longer as we had a two week stint in the Pop Up in Salamanca in October and even though I had enough stuff in the studio to cover our time in the shop, I thought I had best make something.
The first lot of dishes I made, were hastily thrown together, simple slab pots decorated in blue so that they would sell. Their price reflected my indifference to them as objects but they served their purpose in that I am back in my studio working.
I have now made some lovely pots that I am very happy with and of course their price reflects my happiness. These pots pictured below are also simple slab formed soap dishes, but they are complete, they have stories to tell.
Stories that do not begin to be revealed until you pick them up and look closer, look underneath the pot to the hidden underside.
Stories of drought and environmental degradation interspersed with the silent cries of dead seabirds killed by plastic pollution. Secret stories in each pot, a touch of the makers spirit just underneath the surface.
But of course you can’t say that at a market stall as a busy shoppers eyes slide over the work falling onto the soap instead.
I can’t tell stories like that to people who don’t want to hear.
So I am telling you instead, I am sharing my secrets with you dear internet, the marks of the cog wheel in the pot below, come from a cigarette lighter retrieved from the belly of a dead albatross. The tracks are made by pressing a piece of wood from a dead tree across the base of the pot, so that the grub lines are transferred to the clay.
My trees are dying, all the trees on my mountain are slowly dying. And all the wood hookers see is easy pickings, and all I can see is the death by inches of this country I love.
And so I put the stories of the trees into the work and some people listen but most people don’t, but now I have told you and that is enough.
A friend, Agnes, showed me a technique she uses to make the most beautiful round pots and I have run with it.
I am in love with these little pots.
The potential for storytelling with these pots is enormous and my fingers are itching to make more.
I even made a blue one.
So you can guess where I will be today internet? You are right of course, I will be in my studio, making all the round pots and putting secret stories into them that I will only share with you.