At the age of 43 Rutter took a sabbatical with the intention of writing a book of poetry. At the same time, she moved with her husband, Guy, to their current live-work space. “I really believe that, when you’re trying to do something creative, it’s not about squeezing in half an hour at the beginning or end of the day,” Rutter asserts. “You have to make space and time for things, physically and mentally.” Suddenly, Rutter had the time and the space to refocus her career.
The book of poetry became a range of pottery. For Rutter, the two are not dissimilar. “I’ve always been interested in form,” she explains as we walk along the edge of green-gold rape field that is ready to harvest. She references the American poet, William Carlos Williams, for whom a poem was comparable to ‘a small (or large) machine made of words’. In the same way that his poems are taut and functional, so too are Rutter’s minimal vessels. “When I’m looking at the shape of a mug, or the way a lid works, it has to be beautiful and it has to be functional. It’s really hard work,” she concedes. “Like writing, you have to sit down and push away at it every single day for a long time.”