I am Thursday evening West Street Potter. It’s become an annual outing for a group of us to go to a local auction house to celebrate my January birthday. This year was no exception. I love an auction, the sense of imminent discovery, of finding a hidden treasure – and all that George III furniture going for a song! Our outing was great – I confess, I have a crockery habit! I determined to keep strictly to my budget and so I bid on only two lots – one, a Chris Carter piece (along with an interesting African piece of pottery) and the other, a lot of 5 assorted cardboard boxes full of stuff. Here’s what was in one of the boxes…..Connection #1
The next weekend, I went with a friend to the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham to look at the Michael O’Brien Exhibition, which has been curated by Simon Olding and Magdalene Odundo. There we looked at African connections, West Surrey College of Art & Design connections and, of course, Michael Cardew connections. I noticed that Magdelena had visited Michael Cardew’s Wenford Bridge Pottery in the early 1970s, whilst studying at WSCAD under the direction of Henry Hammond (whose FH7 glaze we use at West Street Potters). Connections #2, 3, 4 & 5
I was reminded of my summer holidays in 2018. My children and grandchildren live in Cornwall. I like to visit for 8 weeks or so but I don’t want to impose on them (small children are very noisy!) In the previous May, I had visited the Open Studios Cornwall and made the journey to two villages near St Breward, one of them being Wenford Bridge. Many of you will know that the Cardew pottery no longer exists but I discovered, quite by chance, another potter, living and working on part of that site. Her name was Cookie Scottorn. Cookie had trained at WSCAD in the early 70s, under the direction of Henry Hammond and it was to Cookie I turned when I needed accommodation last summer. I stayed at Wenford Bridge Pottery, in The Letterbox, a charming simple conversion of what had been Cardew’s pottery shop. It was just perfect. You can find its details here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/21758343?guests=1&adults=1
So Connection #6 is Cookie Scottorn, who is visiting West Street Potters workshop on 27th April to talk about her work as a potter and her journey from WSCAD to Wenford. Interesting, eh?
Come along and join us on Saturday 27th April and make a connection of your own! You will be very welcome.