There is a simple joy I get from throwing pots, it brings me inner calm and I’m addicted. I’m driven by achieving the best quality and form in whatever I make, creating useful and beautiful items for the home, and I’m learning all the time. I’m motivated by the feedback from people who love and use my tableware everyday. Without their encouragement I wouldn’t be the potter I am today.
I live on Dartmoor and swim in the river most days. This connection with the flow and rhythm of nature inspire my work.
I use stoneware clay, make my own glazes, and fire in an electric kiln to 1270. I track my energy use and have a green energy supplier. I focus on the process rather than the product, which means ditching any pots I’m not happy with before firing, so I can recycle the clay. I also keep waste glaze material for reuse.
I taught myself to throw at college when I was 16 and loved it, but thought I had to go and get a ‘proper job’ so didn’t touch clay again for the next 17 years. I forgot how necessary it is to be creative and focussed entirely on my career. My mum died when she was 64 and I was 32. It hit me how short life is, and when clearing out her things, I found all my old pots that she’d kept and cherished. My husband, to help me with the grief, booked me a pottery course. I fell in love with clay all over again, did a few terms of evening classes, and then a two-year pottery apprenticeship and became a pottery teacher at Studio 45 with Richenda Macgregor, Mel Chambers, and Raphaela Seck. I became part time at work to do this, and still work three days a week on energy and climate change. I spend most of the rest of my time potting in #megashed in the garden, which I built with my husband Tim.
So given that we’re in a #climateemergency and I’m a renewable energy geek… my kiln uses 46kWh at 19p per kWh, that’s £11 ish on our green energy tariff. If we were lucky enough to have solar PV we’d need approximately two domestic arrays of 8-10kW, or the normal 4kW rooftop array with a big battery, but in the winter I’d only be able to fire every 2 weeks ish. The carbon intensity varies depending on how sunny and windy it is, but as I write in the South West the carbon intensity of the grid is around 65gCO2/kWh, so my 46kWh of electricity from the grid is responsible for 2.99kg of carbon (but I’m on a green tariff, so you could argue I was using green electricity…). Thanks to Tim for the maths.