Monday, 31 October 2016

One Year On

I was moved to write about the 'Great Pottery Throw-down' (blog number 66). Beware, it is about to be thrust upon us again, filming was completed some time ago, so stand by for more tears. I received repeated invitations by email. I don't know, once you get on these mailing lists there is no escape. The dead line for submissions was extended a couple of times, call me cynical, but this is television and maybe the right kind of amateur could not be found in sufficient numbers.
I could not bring myself to view any of the programs past the second instalment last time. I found it highly edited, making a pot is a longer process than the telly can accommodate, I certainly don't have someone shouting out "Ten minutes left" every so often putting me in a tail spin and almost certainly inviting a major cock up. I found myself shouting and hurling abuse at the poor defenceless T.V. as minor disasters in clay unfurled. I was not moved to tears by any of the work that survived. Having failed to blub, I got on with making pots and listened to the on going debate amongst others.
The watching public seemed generally interested, they say they found it informative, exciting and it reminded some of something tried at school, they dismissed it then, but now realised they should have given it a chance. I thought the same about Chemistry and Latin, but I don't think I would enrol for courses, classes or workshops as droves of people have with pottery with such a frenzy.

On a positive note, we were deluged with enquiries for potter's aprons in the run up to Christmas. Who would have thought a pottery class and an apron were the 'Must Have' Christmas present?
Orders for potter's aprons are still trickling in, but I can't report on a massive increase in sales of pots. Instead hordes of fledgling potters have plonked themselves firmly in front of my stall at almost every event in the UK this year and asked endless questions, " What clay do you use". "What glaze do you use". "How do long does it take"? and other stupid questions which makes one wonder who is taking their money and teaching these guys? They almost never buy pots of course, so I don't expect they think about the implications of that. It costs money to apply and exhibit at a Ceramic Market. They get ever more expensive, then there is the cost of accommodation, fuel and 3 or 4 days away from the workshop. If we sell nothing, we can't afford to come back again, so no more free tuition. Nearly all the potters we know have amazing collections of ceramics, so why don't these new converts buy some inspiration too? You can learn a lot by handling and studying a fine piece of work.

May be I should have watched the rest of the programs to try and reach an understanding of what it is that makes us want to express ourselves in clay, try to create something only to fail, pick ourselves up, try again only to fail once more, yet still persist. My blood pressure would not stand another round of telly abuse, so I'll  save my angst for my own personal fight with clay. However one thing is certain, sales of kilns, wheels and pottery kit shows no abate. I'll bide my time for a new kiln, Ebay will be flooded soon and I can take my pick and save a bob or two.

Everything you need to make a pot...

and a good apron of course.

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