Friday, 31 March 2017

A little history


In 1966 I left South Africa and sailed to England, landing at Southampton on a misty Sunday morning in February.
I was 20, and had a broken-off university education in english and history, and a similarly broken off art school ceramics diploma! But I had masses of self confidence and loved throwing pots!
Throwing at Morar Pottery, Morar, Invernessshire - about 1967
After a year in London, working at Briglin Pottery, Crawford Street, W1, I moved to remote Morar on the west coast of Scotland and rented a huge workshop, formerly a training centre, from the "Highland Home Industries". Seated at the wheel I had a view over the  Morar River estuary, which filled and emptied with the tides. The work I made was sold in the chain of craft shops the HHI ran in the Highlands and in Edinburgh. In 1968 I spent some time in Dublin, working in the workshops of Fergus O'Farrell - an almost legendary Irish sculptor and entrepeneur.
 I moved to back London in November 1968.
Throwing jug on kickwheel, Greenwich Studios, London, about 1970

I rented the first floor of Greenwich Studios, a Victorian shop building at the foot of Blackheath Hill, from Alan Wallwork, who had moved his pottery to Dorset. Here I produced quantities of once-fired "medieval" loving cups for a restuarant in St Martins Lane ("1066" run by the Bloom family of washing machine fame). Saving all the money from this enabled me to buy the Magpie, a former pub on the Suffolk - Norfolk border.

Same kick wheel, Magpie, Fersfield, Norfolk. 1976

On the wheel: coffee cups and coffee pots for David Mellor Shop, Sloane Square, London 
My workshop was in an old stable, and the same self-built wheel produced quantities of teapots, coffeepots and 100's of candlesticks - the biggest seller.
I moved to Denmark in 1978 and sold the Magpie in 1980. It is for sale now for the 3rd time since I sold it - see  it here. The category arch of my oil kiln still stands in the rear garden!


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