Pop & Jez (2020 New Maker)
Aware that this is likely to be a difficult year for us, we have been upping our veg production, extending the patch and have built a greenhouse out of old bits of glass we have been collecting over the years.
It’s really exciting to see how fast everything is growing and to have sunshine on skin again and hands grounded in soil. In our make-shift studio at home, we’ve also had our hands in clay, getting on with making teapots and are planning on doing some experimental slipware. We've been combining some of the qualities of the ancient pots we saw in Japan with traditional North Devon Slipware.
Blue Firth (2019 New Maker)
I feel incredibly fortunate that the last 7 weeks have been quite peaceful. I’m still lecturing, so that takes up half the week. But I've not had access to my studio, so I have had to connect with clay in other ways. I started a Clay Take-Away - a package where you get sent clay, a beeswax candle and a honey herbal infusion, all in the post, alongside video-tutorials to get your own clay practice going at home. It’s been such a pleasure to see what people have been making, creating a network of home potters. Clay is incredibly beneficial to mental health, meditatively taking you out of your mind and into your hands – allowing you to subtly explore and work through emotions. Plus, it's just good fun.
Alongside that, I’ve been making playlists as soundtracks to the days called Music to do Nothing To. I’ve asked my favourite record lovers to curate some of them so there’s a wonderful mix. And I can really recommend the film The Lion in Winter (1968) with Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and The Films of Constance Beeston (1974).