I make idiosyncratic ceramic animals, taking my inspiration mainly from those I encounter in the Somerset countryside. Recently though, I’ve been moving into more international themes, with zebras, giraffes and a cheetah joining the menagerie. My current favourite make is a baby tapir. The animals develop their own character during the process of being made. No two are the same and that is part of their joy.
Friends also generate inspiration. I’ve made ‘spirit animals’ for a few people as well as crafting beloved pets who have passed over the rainbow bridge. I’m always happy to accept commissions.
I enjoy the luxury of being retired and I try to dedicate a couple of hours a day to making. I have a studio in the summer house in the garden. The view is lovely. I can see two churches of nearby villages peeping over the hills and it never fails to give a feeling of gratitude.
Making things by hand is important for both the maker and the owner of the object. As a maker, I enjoy being in the moment when creating. It’s healthy to have a time of mindfulness. To own a handmade object is to share in the joy of making. Each piece is unique and every time you look at it, the chances are you will see a little something new that underlines individuality.
My advice for anyone wanting to make and possibly sell is to give it a go. It can be exposing to put your work out into the world for scrutiny. But the chances are it will catch somebody’s eye and be appreciated. Also, the more you do something, the better able you will be to fulfil your vision.
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