I started pottery classes quite late into my life, but I always had a passion for pottery.
When my dad remarried he and his wife were given a full dinner set of brown and oatmeal pottery. I was fascinated by the patterns and colours from the glaze, the feel and weight of the pieces in my hand. It was different that the other plates and crockery around the house. It felt luxurious, special. I did not know what I was looking at the time, but I coveted that set of Fosters of Cornwall Pottery. I always hoped one day it would be mine. It is still not mine.
With my new found passion for pottery I seemed to notice it everywhere, never before did I realise how much pleasure it gave me. From the huge mixing bowls that my Nan had, to the simple blue and white Cornish ware in my Aunties kitchen. Pottery gave me a comfort but I did not consider pottery classes until much later.
The weekends I would stay with my mum were spent trailing round antique centres and craft fairs, mostly hating it to be honest, I was 6 or 7 and it just wasn’t as good as the cinema, but I guess the bug had already bitten.
I started collecting tacky, gaudy pieces, mostly slip cast from china, probably from Woolworth’s and jumble sales. I may have wanted fat lava and retro Denby but I ended up with little ornaments like cats and kittens, hedgehogs with balloons, all manor of hard to dust collections that I was very proud of.
As I grew into a teenager I dreamed of my own home and how I would decorate it, using the argos catalogue as a template for my future taste.
My love for collections of pottery tat would make way for more modern crockery, Like Arcoroc Octime dishes, which if you were anyone in the 80’s you had a set of. Glass, octagonal, black, perfect for displaying exotic green foods like kiwis, olives and Avocado, not so good for dropping on the floor and slicing your legs open. I never did buy a set, it was a thankfully short fad, but the remains of sets can be found at boot sales up and down the country. I am happy to report that I no longer choose my crockery from an Argos catalogue.
A love of vintage.
The first set of crockery that I bought was a set of vintage J&G Meakin ‘Tulip time’ plates. Oh how I loved those plates!
I still have them, occasionally still use them, I will always cherish them. They are battered, chipped and stained with who knows what, but they will be remembered as one of the first and rare visits to adulting that I have done over the years.
I dreamed of having luxurious dinner parties with people in flares, headscarves and wild jewelry, basically Margot and Jerry from The Good life TV series. We would eat vol-au-vonts and salmon, definitely melon balls and possibly something layered in an aspic terrine, but it would all be served in the most beautiful pottery dishes. I still dream of this. I vow to make this the year of the dinner party.
Dirty earth pottery studio currently offer 6 week classes in which participants make a decorate a set of 4 stacking platters and a salad bowl, perfect for those dinner parties! All classes booked online through Brown paper tickets.