I’m a potter making both thrown and hand built work. My pots have quite a graphic quality and drawing directly onto them means each one is completely unique. I have two quite different ranges inspired by both native wild plants and geometric, mid century pattern.
Initially I thought this lockdown period would be a gift for someone like me. I have a pottery studio in my garden and enough clay to keep me going for weeks. I could see myself producing huge quantities of work and exploring new ideas and techniques.
The reality has been the opposite, I wander in and out of my studio with no direction, I’m constantly distracted by the news or the rest of the family and I’ve been producing very little work.
One of the turning points for me was an initiative by a fellow potter who invited potters all over the country to ‘throw for the NHS’. She suggested that on the 1st day of the month (beginning May 1st) that we all put aside some time to make work that would then be sold specifically to raise funds for the NHS. I was amazed how this simple idea inspired me and gave me the focus that I had been lacking.
Initially I sketched out some ideas as I wanted to make something that marked the period of time we were going through and obviously the great cause we were championing.
Bases on recent geometric designs I had been working on, I decided to make a brooch design based on the letters NHS and the year in Roman numerals.
Making day on May 1st was quite exciting, at last I felt like I was part of something and able to do something useful. Pottery is not the quickest craft and many of the potters are still to finish the pieces they made. Mine have just had their first firing and will then need to return to the kiln before they’re ready for sale although I’m already looking forward to 1st June when it happens all over again.
I now realise that I’m not the only one who has felt creatively paralysed by lockdown but thankfully this call to arms has kick started my mojo and I now feel able to start working productively again.