Pots and Poems
Scotland – May 2008
This current body of work came together in a strange and fortuitous manner. I am a keen if somewhat inept golfer and a member at the Helensburgh golf club. As a result of excavations on the course, clay was unearthed that I thought might be suitable for pottery. This then lead to a prototype golf trophy. I was struck by the â€œlookâ€ or visual appeal of the text on the pottery form. Around this time, for no particular reason, I purchased a copy of the Independent newspaper containingÂ Booklet 1 of The Great Poets- Geoffrey Chaucer. Whilst I did not use any of Geoffreyâ€™s work, the proverbial penny had dropped and I had the beginnings ofÂ my textual material to develop this work.
I like most modern ( or indeed post modern!) potters are looking for ways to make their work objects of contemplation as well as objectsÂ of use. Poems or parts of poems and a developing calligraphic style have allowed me to do this. Most of the quotes are romantic or spiritual in nature, little snapshots that strike a chord withÂ my internal life.Â Ceramic illuminations is a term that comes to mind and gives an idea of the future for this work
On a more political level, I have used Rudyard Kiplings â€œMesopotamia â€“ July 1917â€ in full. It is a powerful criticism of a political leadership that takes a country into a war in the Middle East and then cannot or will not get the job done. A huge loss of life ensues. The leadership skulks off and returns to public life later when the politicalÂ heat is off.Â Does any of this sound familiar?
SpecialÂ thanks go to the people at the Luss Pilgrimage Centre, in particular Minister Dane Sherrard and Bob Seaward for their unstinting support and understanding,, without their help none of this work could exist. They provided a work space, a potters wheel and a kiln to a pottery orphan a long way from home.
I would also like to thank the Independent newspaper for their series of booklets on theÂ great poets. They served as a source of quotesÂ and inspiration to look further into poetry. The booklets were put together by Mr Michael Schmidt, Professor of Poetry, University of Glasgow.