I’ve worked as a potter since 1972 and am, by and large, self-taught..After a few throwing lessons I got a lucky break when my wife and I were offered work in a pottery in Fowey, where the potter had gone travelling leaving it in the care of our friend Judith Martelli. When she came back she sold the pottery to a business-man – and us with it. Such things happen, occasionally.
Since then I have potted briefly in North Wales where I built two wood-fired kilns for stoneware before returning to Cornwall to work with Judith Martelli in Lostwithiel, making domestic earthenware. Ill health forced Jude to give up potting but I continued and eventually changed my production to salt-glaze.
When we say self-taught it’s only part of anyone’s story. Two early meetings made a lasting impact on the way I saw pots. In 1968 I first went to a working pottery, the Taena Pottery making slipware and run by Loo Groves then later to Winchcombe to see Ray Finch.
In 1972- 73 when I’d just started making pots I helped at Michael Cardew’s Wenfordbridge Pottery as part of the kiln firing crew. The pots I saw there along with the people I met and the experiences I had have stayed with me always and inform much of what I’m still trying to achieve.
I fell in love with the idea of the potter’s life and the pots themselves – old pots, new pots, museum pieces, pots in use and the beauty of traditional country pots,. The warmth and intimacy of hand-made things for use in our homes.