No art form tells us more about our ordinary lives than ceramics.
As I write thisI have over forty years of pottery making behind me . It has been a wonderful journey that I’ve taken in parallel to my ‘real’ job teaching English at a second level school a stone’s throw from my house on the Green Rd. in Carlow, Ireland.
Teaching has been my living. I did by and large enjoy the thirty six years I spent at the chalk face retiring in 2004. I think I managed to survive that without doing too much damage to all those tender minds and hearts. I have lots of good memories of them. Making pots has been my life. I don’t think i would have been as content with my teaching if I had not got that balance. Pottery has brought me to many wonderful places and connected me with wonderful people. I have participated in many workshops with very talented and giving potters. I have always been impressed with the generosity and openness of the pottery community and feel privileged by the warmth and inclusiveness they have offered to this amateur among them. I often class myself as ‘self taught’ but the truth is I have had mentoring from some of the best makers on this planet. After over thirty years of working with clay I had the wonderful privilege of studying Ceramic design at the Glasgow School of Art where I took my degree in 2009.
As I look forward to the future inevitably plans begin to formulate themselves. Making pots is often a physically demanding enterprise. I’ve been very fortunate to have enjoyed good health all my life but the years take their toll. Muscles become less elastic, joints proclaim wear and tear and energy levels lessen. So little time and so much still to learn. The search for the perfect pot continues.