Well I wasn’t planning on going away last week but after a couple of weeks of driving the cat doolally with my talking to her at every waking minute (Paul is away so poor Biscuit gets talked at a lot!) she eventually told me to please go away and let her have a few days peace and quiet with her Auntie Bettie. So I hopped on the train down south.
I ended up trying to help out with Doug’s firing, he had some pots for his exhibition that opens today at William’s Art in Cambridge, but a lot of the pots were ones that Adam Field has been making while he has been staying with Doug the last few weeks.
We had a quick whizz into Exeter after the firing to show Adam the sights, and a wander through the newly reopened museum there which has a grand collection of pots on show along with the anteater and the giraffe.
A few months back I saw advertised the workshop that Adam and Doug were giving at Nic Collins’ place on Dartmoor and rather fancied going but at the time decided it was too far away so I didn’t book it. Then what with the last minute decision to head south anyway I thought I’d check to see if there was a space left and there was so I went.
I’m really ever so glad that I did. Three fellas making big pots most of the weekend. Three fellas who are all masters of what they do and who have and share a passion and an understanding for their material that I can only dream of.
I have to say Nic’s demo was the one that floored me. His pots couldn’t be less like mine if we tried and I just love them. Last year I finally purchased a jug of his after years of wanting to have one and never quite having the spare cash. Watching him throw was one hell of an eye opener. He was able to work in front of a group of people and show a wonderful variety of techniques, answer questions and still manage to quietly, gently and deftly create some stunning forms with intense presence. When ever I have tried to demonstrate my forms are far heavier and lumpier even to the eye without having to pick them up, than they would usually be. The bottle he threw last was just delicious. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching his way of working.
Nic and Sabine live in Moretonhampstead on the edge of Dartmoor, I’d taken my tent down, the weather was a touch on the chilly side and instead of pitching my tent Nic offered me the use of their daughter, Elsa’s, wendy house. So Elsa, thank you very much, it was a cosy night and I slept really well in there, Mr Fitch was a gentleman and swept out the sand for me too. I slept so well in fact that when there was a knock on the door in the morning with the delivery of a cup of tea in bed I was still asleep.
Here is my accommodation in all it’s sunny sunday morning glory.
There were lots of new people to meet down there and lots of stunning pots to ogle. Nic and Sabine are wonderful hosts, thank you for having us all and for welcoming us all to your home. It was lovely to spend some time with you all.
There was a one pot of Nic’s there in particular that I have been trying not to think about since I got home, I have an inclining that I might need to give him a ring and see if it is still available as it’s been stuck in my head ever since…
This last picture is on the driveway on the way to work and is for Doug.
I’m really glad I ended up heading down south, often I don’t do things like that because I have to work and I feel bad taking time off when I know there is so much to be done here. However sometimes too much of my own company is not a good thing and a change of scene and good company and some new ways of looking at things is just what the doctor ordered.