When I was eighteen my ambition was to become a potter - oh, and to meet Johnny Rotten, so it's been a pretty good twelve months really.
I forgot until I got to work this morning and looked on my calendar, that yesterday was my first birthday. That is, in so much as it was a year ago that I officially left the University's employment and ventured out as a full time potter. Well I'm still here, I haven't starved, in fact I'm over a stone heavier - more to do with packing in the cigarettes and middle age spread than anything else I think, but I've managed to scrape a living for a year by selling the things that I love to make and that feels good. It hasn't been the easiest year, when the van died I couldn't afford to replace it, but I found my feet and discovered the minute detail of the countryside. We didn't get much of a holiday in the summer either, but I'm confident that this year should be better as my competence and confidence has grown and I've at last learned how to make the kiln do the things I want it to do. My head's in a much better place than it was a year ago.
It was a beautiful day in Devon today, warm enough to enjoy a tea in the sunshine while watching a red deer in the field outside the workshop. A huge military aircraft came over really low and the deer was gone. Perhaps I shouldn't have photographed the plane because about ten minutes later a helicopter came over really, really, really low, circled my workshop six times, presumably giving me a good looking at, before flying off again realising that I'm nothing but a harmless recluse in a shed. I probably shouldn't have photographed that either, but they were asking for it with all that low flying stuff. It doesn't look all that close on the photo, but it was just above the power lines - I'm not sure it's legal to fly so low over someone's property It added interest to my day, I hope it did to theirs too.
My mate Simon Hancox. was just on the phone. He rang to tell me he's got a place at Clay Art Wales and Art in Clay at Hatfield. I'm looking forward to catching up with him later in the year, he's a top bloke who I've known since we were at college together back in the eighties when he had a mullet - sorry Simon, but you know it's true.
No pots made today which was a bit frustrating, but a lot of wood cut and stacked in the dry which was important as the forecast doesn't look good for later in the week. I must get some pots made tomorrow though, the illness at the start of the week has set me back quite badly. I hope to fire in a couple of weeks when Matt comes to visit next.