Stretching myself (and the clay)

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I am part of the Scottish Potters Association and each year they host an exhibition, I think usually at the Milton Gallery near Aberdeen. I have never considered that what I make is suitable for such a grand event, but this year was challenged (encouraged?) by a fellow potter to consider contributing. The theme for this year was Still Life. Also contributions had to be 3D, not wall pieces. Quite a challenge…

 

​I thought about Still Life… and paintings, flowers, bowls of fruit. I thought I have never made anything that fits into that image. My friend and fellow potter Moira continued to push me. I have made poetry plaques for some time, placing Chris’s beautiful poetry into the clay. Could I not use this poetry and design into 3D pieces too? Suddenly I felt excited at possibilities. I went into the pottery and rolled out some rather sticky clay and waited a day for it to become useable… Then I made my first pot using the poetry – a very tall and slightly wobbly vase. I worked with Chris to find some of his poems that reflected the fact that there was Still Life – despite turmoil and worry and challenges. Still Life. I wrapped the poetry around the vase and decorated it with slip and splashes of coloured glaze.

Once I started I found I couldn’t stop – such a freedom in creating something new and in experimenting. Each piece so far is different as I am trying glazes and oxides and various combinations of slips. Due to family circumstances I did not get to submit my pieces to the exhibition, but have really enjoyed the stretch – making and keeping in shape various pieces of clay, using shells as moulds and making smooth and useable vases that (hopefully) please the eye… What do you think?

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