I haven’t told you about my pottery, have I. I started doing pottery in 2005, in the countryside near Le Mée, with a very nice group and a very competent teacher. I still use the little bowl which was the first piece I ever made, for my cereals every morning. When I moved to Quimper, it was one of the first things I fixed, finding a new pottery class. Most of the year I go once a week for about three hours. The group is a good one, and I get on well with the person that teaches us, even if, most of the time, I just do my thing, which is a lot of very weird sculpture! There is something so appeasing in working with a lump of clay. It absorbs quite literally all the tensions of body and mind, and I come away tired and satisfied, and cleansed somehow in a way that no other craft can do.
Virtually the only utilitarian stuff I do is pots for the garden, but they are never standard, always a bit tortured…but useful, pots cost such a lot of money. I’ve done a couple of dishes, but I don’t really have room to house such things.
Recently I did a plaque, which I really like but is not frightfully useful, based on an idea Jacques gave me when he showed me a whole lot of little fishes he had done. I stuck my little fishes to the plaque as I went along, in about three layers, trying to get a wave effect. I enamelled it three times to get the proper degree of colour change, as if the light were coming from the surface of the ocean above. Photos do not really do it justice, I’m quite pleased with it.
One really useful piece I did earlier in the year was a sort of hedgehog doorstop, I say “sort of” because it has no spines whatsoever. I use it absolutely every day to keep the door to the terrace open for Ellie and UP (pronounced Youpie…) to go in and out. I have done other animals in the past, a tortoise (which was so realistic that Oslo barked at it the first time she saw it!) and a water buffalo with a mermaid’s tail…
My artichoke is one of my favourite pieces, the glazing was very laborious, but I’m pleased that I’ve got what I consider to be a perfect colour.
My first monster, dating back three years, is my favourite piece. He is sad and pensive, deformed and ugly, but he sits by my chair in the sitting room and keeps me company. He now sports a pair of ancient round eyeglasses (even though he has only one eye), which makes him look even more vulnerable! If you click on any of the pictures, you will get an enlarged version.
I have another sort of monster, that absolutely no one likes, that I shall be fetching from the workshop tomorrow. I’m going for a special one to one class on the construction of large jars and urns. This recent monster is, I have to say, a bit monstrous! I have called it “Bernard”, because it is based on a Bernard l’hermitte idea (that is a hermit crab in French), a sort of large scrolley shell out of which emerges half a skull, or rather with only half the skull it contains showing. I’ll photograph it and show you soon.