Back from Germany, not quite in one piece…
Well here I am, have you missed me? It’s probably been quiet and peaceful with none of my waffling going on for the last week or so, just think what the poor bunch of potters I’ve spent all that time with have had to put up with. I was a bit nervous going away for a week with people some of whom I knew a little bit before hand but some of whom I had never spoken to before and knew nothing about other than having seen pictures of their work. Needless to say I shouldn’t have been worried because as with most potter types they were all a wonderful bunch, friendly and jolly and we have had a ball. The whole experience was fantastic, the weather I’m sure helped that, ok a little too hot for me, 40+degrees are not for Hannah’s, but the sunshine made the pots glisten and the town was stunning. A few more sales for us all wouldn’t have gone a miss but you can’t have everything. Our German hosts were wonderful, they treated us like kings and we are all I believe very grateful to them for their friendship and hospitality.
Just a taster of some of the splendid pots we came across while we were away. I have seen some utter beauties, Bellarmine jars that just made me squeal with delight much to the amusement of Andrew and Michael who hadn’t ever seen me like that before, I think they thought I was a quiet little calm thing previously, all illusions shattered.
Part of the plan while we were there was to create as a centre piece in the square where we were exhibiting, a clay version of an English tea party. Geoff Cox
organiser, is in the picture above creating one of the two figures to sit at the table. The picture below is Andrew Harding of Northumbrian Craft Pottery
throwing some cups and saucers.
The heat outside was very quickly turning us into puddles so we were working in this basement of a huge building that was a pottery factory, it was like sitting in a fridge, delightful. The whole town of Hohr-Grenzhausen is a pottery town and though many of the larger factories have shut there are a myriad of smaller producers, it feels like every other building houses a pottery and there are huge old salt kilns on every corner and in between. This old factory now houses workspace for lots of individual potters and a dance studio upstairs.
Pollie and Gary Uttley
set to very quickly making the intricately decorated runners for the table and the place mats and coasters. Their work is inspired by their passion for India and the textiles that are created there and the two of them seem to be on a continuous journey around the world visiting places and meeting potters and doing shows.
One of many team meetings, this bar was just in front of our stalls, you can see our tents in the back ground there. They are all looking very serious there as you can see, we weren’t there purely for enjoyment you know, well ok maybe we were. Left to right: Clare Wakefield, Michael Palmer, Garry Uttley, Pollie Uttley, Geoff Cox, Chris Cox
, Andrew Harding, I’m not sure where Tim Huckstepp
was and not yet arrived at this point was David Constantine White
I have so many pictures of the town and of pots and of stalls and everything else that you will probably be getting them for the next millenia on this blog. I think these two summed up the multi national feel of the weekend. We had taken with us some gifts that were typically British for our German hosts so some Lindisfarne Meed, I took Islay malt, Andrew and Michael took Newcastle Brown Ale and we were fed copious amounts of this German beer which I think was made locally.
The market has about 150 exhibitors and it’s pretty big, the lovely thing was that you wandered around the streets to the stalls, potters brought their stands and some brought market stall type constructions, some brought trestle tables, some brought tents others just an umbrella. They were dotted through the streets and in squares and it was very picturesque and felt very continental (for obvious reasons), they shut the roads to vehicles and food stalls were all around too, bratwurst anyone?
The tea party seemed to generate a lot of interest, we could have sold some of the buns many times over if they had been for sale. We used food colouring in the slips to get the colours bright and cheaply so if any of them had survived the incredible thunder storm that finished the weekend to be fired then they would almost all have come out white on white, not as edible looking really. There were many comments relating to the “crazy English”, I agreed whole heartedly, typically eccentric I thought.
There are lots more pictures to come and tales to relate no doubt, probably not as funny to those who here them in the retelling than they were to us there at the time but we’ll see.
I came home on thursday, I’d shared a van with Michael and Andrew from Newcastle onwards and we’d taken the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam. Unfortunately when I was just 10miles from home there was a bit of an incident with a transit van that drove into the back of my little car, the two police vans and two ambulances were not the welcome home committee I was hoping for. I’m ok, well I’ve got whiplash and I feel like I’ve done a few rounds with Mike Tyson but today I can actually move my head which is nice. I can type if I do a bit at a time but even that’s quite painful. I was looking forward to getting straight back into making as I saw so many inspirational things while I was away but I think that’ll be a while in coming yet. I
need to check the pots over and see if there are any breakages from the crash. My poor car I think I will never see again now that it’s been carried away by the insurance company, bless it. The most interesting bit which I was in no fit state to take a photograph of but which I think you will appreciate was the amazing spread of white slip across the car. I’d had a big bucket of it in the boot that I’d been decorating with while I was away, it can go quite some way in an impact, I wish it had been red slip, wouldn’t that have given the paramedics a shock! The slip seems to have covered most things to the point that it has shot through the zip on my bag and coated my clothes that were inside it too. Anyway, I might be a bit quiet for a while on the making front but I will be back and in the meantime all being well you’ll get a steady updates from Germany.
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, Chris Cox
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, David Constantine White
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, Geoff Cox
, Northumbrian Craft Pottery
, Tim Huckstepp
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