Pottery and the Pandemic

Pottery has been a passion of mine...forever, it seems. My collection started before I was twenty and I continue to use these handmade pots for everything from fruit to paper clips. Some were gifts from dear friends, some from artists I've discovered over the years, while others are found treasures from the bottom of a box in a thrift shop. They are each a wonder to me. A cup without a handle means my fingers encircle the same spot as the potter's did when the cup was being turned on the wheel. We are forever connected.

Although the pandemic was...challenging, I did receive a wonderful gift during that time. I discovered the Goldmark Gallery in Rutland, England. (Thank you, You Tube!) They created breathtaking films of artists that were featured in their gallery, led cameras to view the latest pieces, brought the entire world into their corner of Uppingham.

The pottery films soothed my soul. I watched Phil Rogers in his studio in Wales, Anne Mette Hjortshoj smiling as she worked her wheel in Denmark. Magic.

Max Waterhouse led me through the gallery, holding the pots, describing the glazes, honouring each one and the artist that created them.

The world lost pottery masters during that time. Phil Rogers in 2020 and Richard Batterham in 2021, to name two of the artists that enhanced my life just by seeing their work on a screen.

As a gift to myself this past Christmas, I bought a catalogue from an exhibit at the Goldmark Gallery. I had to keep it in its wrapper until Christmas morning, as my heart would pound with anticipation of the wonders I knew were inside. 

When that morning arrived, I savoured the moment of opening the package. The cover had a close up photo of a Richard Batterham piece. Magnificent.

I was giddy with excitement, chattering away, when I turned a page and suddenly tears welled up in my eyes and my lips trembled. A photograph of his HANDS, swirled with wet clay. In that moment, I keenly felt the loss of this artistic hero of mine. His hands had done their work and were now still.

The Goldmark Gallery gave my soul sanctuary during the pandemic and I will always be grateful. (...And if I win the lottery, there will be a Richard Batterham pot in my collection!!!)

Thank you for spending this time with me,

Lori   xx


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