I wrote the below text about a month ago, just before heading off to the first of the big exhibitions i will make this year in Italy, the first, a one man show in Puglia, celebrating my 40 years of potting. During the setting up, my father died, and i had to return home to the U.K.
He would have never have understood the importance of this exhibition for me, but if not for him, and my mother it would never be, they gave me the freedom to achieve my dream
I dedicate this summer events to a great man………………
This summer, I celebrate a big, tough, memorable, unbelievable, fantastic benchmark. In August 1977, on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border, this young, passionate, Shrewsbury boy started his long journey into professional ceramics.
On leaving school, I was taken on as apprentice thrower in the cooper pottery in Market Drayton, a small ,hand-thrown, oil-fired, stoneware production studio pottery. My first months’ task was to throw mugs, mugs and more mugs. My two masters, mounted beside me on the huge Staffordshire cone-drive wheels, would often stop throwing to jump off their horses and politely squash mugs on my ware board that didn’t make the grade.
Within months I was put on piece rate, a traditional form of paying wages commonly used in the pottery world, and would only by paid for the pots that passed the level of inspection. You can imagine, it doesn’t take long until you throw board after board of perfect pots for fear of not seeing half your pay packet offered to the pug mill at the end of a day.
At age seventeen and a half, I was throwing 50 mugs per hour, and earning the wage of a man, sometimes reaching a massive 500 per day
During the summer here in Italy, I have several important exhibitions.
The first being a solo show in the ceramic museum of grottagle Puglia .
Then a very prestigious exhibition Terra Vivente at the Pignano art gallery , together with a painter and friend I’ve always admired, Carlo Romiti, whom I had the great fortune to meet through Alberto Cavalinni. Some years ago, he held a very important exhibition in our town of Certaldo, with banners crossing the road, and I would be very proud to tell people that he’s a friend of mine. And now we have an exhibition together in one the most remarkable castles here in Tuscany.
Our work complements each other very well, and together with a Polish photographer kacper kowalski , the exhibition will run from July until the end of October.