The Potter
Christopher White
During my second year as an undergraduate at Downing College Cambridge I was invited to visit a friend in Cornwall who was a keen sailor. His father was the manager of Barclay's Bank in Camelford as well as a keen amateur potter, and in the bathroom of Barclay's Bank House there was a potter's wheel. I only sailed once. The rest of my time was spent in the bathroom.
I read Bernard Leach's 'A Potter's Book', and he seemed to be putting my own thoughts into words.
Many evening classes later, when I was beginning to think seriously about trying to make a living as a potter, I visited Coxwold Pottery, and Peter Dick offered me the chance to fill in there for a few months. So, with a real sense of 'burning my boats', I left my job and went to make eggcups on a Leach kickwheel and absorb the atmosphere of a 'real' pottery through my pores. It was a brief but highly formative experience.
I started at Hookshouse in 1975 with a 10cu ft gas kiln, which was replaced in 1980 by a 60cu ft oil kiln, built with the help of David Wicks who worked here for a couple of years, and the bigger kiln soon nudged me towards big pots and once-firing. Decoration began to be important, and by the mid-eighties the geometrical patterns were starting to develop.
The nineties saw the start of a series of mixed exhibitions in our own space, which largely replaced participation in outside exhibitions.
In 1999 I finally allowed myself the luxury of a wood kiln - and discovered it was far less scary and capricious than I had always feared!
Some Venues and Exhibitions
3D Gallery, Bristol (with South Wales Potters)
Barbican Craftspace - 'Breath of the Dragon' (with SWP)
Bettles Gallery, Ringwood
Workshop Gallery, Chepstow
Oriel Myrddhin, Carmarrthen (with SWP)
Maison du Tourisme, Gien, France
Oak Hall, The National Arboretum - 'Natural Selection'
New Brewery Arts, Cirencester