Ceramics Vitae

Robbie Spence at Colchester MakerSpace, 2019. Photo: Polly Alderton

How it all started

Like many people, when I first saw someone throw a pot on a wheel I thought, that is so amazingly beautiful, I want to learn to do that. If you’re a generation older than me, that moment would probably have been the Potters Wheel Interlude Film on  black and white BBC TV. For me it was the professional thrower followed by the hapless contestants on Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game (1960s edition, not the revamped 1990s version). Lately, it would be The Great Pottery Throw Down (BBC2 from 2015 onwards).

Luckily my school had good pottery equipment, including a couple of kickwheels and an electric wheel. After I’d learned to throw there, which culminated in my first teapot – which is, after all, the highest expression of the ceramic art form! – it was adult ed classes all the way up till I got really serious with the USA summer camp, 1992, and the Diploma in 1993-1995 (see above).


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