Pot-head

Beginners' pots
I feel very lucky to have happened upon Newton Pottery where I go on Friday afternoons to play with clay. The class is friendly and laid back, each person making things in their own particular style, with help and guidance when needed. Nice chat, good coffee, a beautiful garden – what more could a girl want? Oh, and there’s the clay, wheel, kiln… magic.

I always manage to arrive late, as is my wont, and so a bit flustered; but while there, and as I drive home through pretty Lincolnshire villages, I always feel extraordinarily cheerful.

The dark pot at the back is my latest, brought home yesterday. It still has the weighty feel of a beginners’s pot, but not quite as much as the stripy one next to it. The smaller ones at the front are the least wonky of my efforts at throwing on the wheel.

More experienced hands than mine made the pots below, just some of those which fill our kitchen shelves. Some are gifts, others came from pottery studios, charity shops or French market stalls; some are old, some new, some cheap, others not so much. I love them all.

Use the tag ‘pottery’ at the end of this post to find earlier posts more or less about pottery or my visits to Newton.

Kitchen pottery

A lumpy thing, but mine own

First bowl

This is here for no good reason other than to show you my first finished pot from my pottery class at The End Room, in the pretty village of Newton. It weighs a ton, as beginners’ pots tend to do; and it is rather lumpy. However, it is the first pot I have made since I left Brixton, twenty three years ago, and I am therefore ridiculously pleased to have done it and brought it home.

It is a coil pot – I never got very confident with coils in my earlier attempts at learning to make pottery – so decided I should try and get over my negative feelings about them. There is another one in the making – maybe a little less lumpy this time, but still pretty hefty.

I’m really enjoying playing with clay again – the feel of it is wonderful.

And I love the drive over to the pottery. Last week, before the class, I went to collect a piece of beef, to make Spiced Salt Beef, from a farm (Bassingthorpe Beef) over in the same direction, near Grantham. I had a wonderful adventure of a drive, through back roads and tiny villages, through a quietly beautiful landscape, so empty of people but full of human cultivation. It reminds me of drives in France on family holidays, when partner and I would sneak off to visit small wine producers, finding ourselves on rough tracks that seemed barely fit for cars, winding round mountains, finding amazing views, wild boar piglets and friendly winemakers. No wine or mountains here, no tourists, less money than in the south of France; but the same quietness, open fields, tiny settlements and people living on the land, getting on with the business of growing and making.

And though no wine, I feel drunk with the subtle beauties of this landscape.