Today was a momentous day really. Other than the commission for English Heritage in February I haven't made a pot since October last year! I Spent the winter, after my autumn exhibition, with family and friends in Devon and London. I had a few exhibitions in the meantime and the auction of all my last pots from Boscean Pottery in July. I found my new workshop in late March and began the massive task of moving my entire business to Devon. Once I had moved over 15 Tonnes of equipment and belongings I began renovating the workshop. In October last year I had really burnt out mentally and physically. I went on a few adventures and forgot about Pottery for a while. But now I feel this is a fresh start for me and my work. It is hard to leave Cornwall behind and my family and friends there. I had built a life for myself and had a strong sense of identity with the traditional legacy at Boscean Pottery. But I felt I must move away from this comfort zone. I have purged myself for nearly a year now.
Its difficult to just 'start' making again but i feel very inspired again. I felt almost scared to start again, just in case I was awful or something. And also felt confused at where to start. What should I make. How to choose a shape? I've had almost a year to think about it, haha! The workshop felt amazing today. Very calm and pure like I've been trying to make it, I felt happy. I spent the evening before drawing shapes and reading the books of pots that inspire me. I have two main inspirations I have been drawn too. My favourite book of Spanish folk ceramics and Japanese Onta-Yaki. I also spent the day before, making and preparing the clay. I also started soaking all the different wood ashes people had saved for me over winter.
Before I left for the workshop this morning I had a phone call. One that is reoccurring at the moment. It was a returning customer looking to buy my work from my workshop in Cornwall! We agreed it was a shame I wasn't there, and that I had sold every last pot I owned to pay for the new workshop! But she gave me such a lift by telling me she enjoyed my work and would find my new workshop, and even said ho I was talented. So this gave me the final spark to set off to make pots today.
The gas kiln is plumbed in now and the flue system is through the roof. So I have a working kiln at least. The wood kiln is being halted until I can buy the arch, though I have had a frame welded for the fire boxes. As soon as I can raise the money it can be finished pretty quickly. Hopefully by the end of the autumn.
When I made my first pot today, it felt like I was off balance, but inside the pot I experiemented with the second. And by the third pot I had the shape I was trying for. I think it will take a while to become poetic, but I feel cleansed at least, from my Cornish ways.