Portfolio, story and styles of work
This was a scary moment in India. Quite early on in my learning to throw, I visited the pot market in Secunderabad with my friend Beena, wanting to go and visit a potters' village. We met a woman who agreed to take us there. Of crourse neither she nor the potters would believe that a woman could be a potter. So there I was, confronted with a fixed speed converted cart wheel, and having to more or less squat and throw off the hump while being watched by a crowd. I think they were convinced, even if not impressed with my pot!
I came to pottery by accident. As, I imagine, most people do. My friend Clare at work asked one day if I'd like to go with her and Alessandra to a short course on ceramics at the University's Ceramics department and I said yes, sure. And that was it really. Smitten from word go. We just did some slab work and some mixing of coloured clays and some glazing. But it was a powerful experience. What a resource that huge workshop was - so much potential for staff and students - until the university in its wisdom shut the whole thing down later that year. The god of profit won over the god of creation.
After some sad attempts at learning to throw I found Ken. Or rather, I found Vidya. Beatriz - another friend at work - gave me two tiny little pots as a Christmas present one year, and said - here are her details, go and meet this woman, she is Indian, she is a dancer and a potter, lives in Portsmouth and is absolutely lovely. So I tentatively emailed her (stopping myself from immediately inviting her for dinner) about meeting for a coffee. She replied asking did we want to go for dinner! It was so funny - I knew straightaway what kind of person she was. We couldn't go because Kevan's mother was here, but invited them round instead - it was wonderful discovering Vidya and her husband Jag. And on such chance does life depend. I offered to be her slave if she would teach me. She said she didn't have a studio at the moment, but would introduce me to Ken Potter (yes that is his name), her guru, who might teach me. We went to meet him early in January and that was that. The first session I spent with him he sat beside me at his wheel for four hours, watching, teaching and physically moving my hands around. Bliss.
So there are several people I need to thank for opening this amazing door for me - Clare, Beatriz, Vidya but mostly Ken - for his amazing ability to teach without constraining, his generosity, his passion for learning and living and his openness to new people and new things. He's quite a guy.