Early last year I received an e-mail from a young woman saying her 70 year old father had had a keen interest in pottery all his life. She wanted to offer him a week in my pottery studio as a present. Was it alright with me? I said I would be delighted to show him what I knew about throwing a pot on the wheel.
He arrived with his handicapped wife and two old dogs at my gate one day in summer 2006. They were staying in their caravan at a camping site in the area. I remember taking them to the back of the studio where there's a patch of grass under an apricot tree and giving water to the dogs.
The next day after getting some clay balls ready we sat each at a potter's wheel and I started my demo. I usually rave about the cosmic experience it is to 'center' 700 grams of wet clay in the middle of the wheel. Yes, I state that throwing a pot is a spiritual happening... after all it is said somewhere in the bible that god is a potter, isn't it?
Anyway, it worked on Robert. He produced a number of great items within a week.
But the weather was very stormy and I didn't want to start my electric kiln in an electric storm. So he left with his stuff in green clay nicely packed. He promised he would come back to glaze and fire.
As things went, I could not have him in October when he could come. Some time later he could not come when I was ready to welcome him back. In January 2007 I received an e-mail with new year greetings. Later in March or so I sent an email to his daughter which was returned to me as 'unknown correspondent'.
Yes but... Robert hadn't waited 70 years to learn pottery and forget about it so soon. In July this year he turned up at my gate again saying he and his wife (and the dogs) were parked at the camping ground in Argenton-sur-Creuse. When could he glaze and fire his pots?
So we worked for about four days and then he got his stuff out of the kiln! Hoorey Robert! Bravo...