Old Friends

I can’t really begin to write about all the wonders of this visit, but here’s just another little taste. I just returned from an exhausting and wonderful trip to Devon, where Doug Fitch and friends and family gave me a very warm welcome! I took some little videos of the one lane tracks that abound in Devon…driving Toff’s huge camper van was nerve wracking! We made pots and talked pots and even played a game of skittles (a bit like bowling in the US…somewhere on youtube is a video of that. I fear hat I let my team down…) in the local pub.  I even made some red clay pots. We walked down to where all the rich clay deposits lay and scooped up a bit which I put directly on the wheel and threw. Thrilling stuff, really. (simple pleasures are the best!)It rained most of the time, of course, until I left for the Sommerset Levels.
 Out of Doug’s somewhat chaotic studio come exquisite pots!
 After a breakfast of tea, scones and clotted cream I stopped at Barrington Court, where Paul Jessop and Marion work. If you read their blog and think to yourself ‘they must be lovely folks’ I can assure you that this is more than true. They have a lovely spot and Barrington is stunning. Paul took me through some back doors to visit the amazing installation of clay figures put together by the artist Antony Gormley called “Field for the British Isles”Look it up! Photos were forbidden.
Last, but certainly not least, was a fine afternoon spent with Johnny and Lizzie Leach at their pottery in Muchelney. They have always been wonderfully welcoming to me and I have been visiting for many years. We swapped stories about our days with Ray Finch and told tales about all the potters who we know in common. I also crawled around the kiln their with Nick and Paul, the other members of the team there. My kiln owes a lot to the design of this mighty 3 chamber kiln and I think that I have a few new ideas to improve my own. “Potters of the world-ignite!” is Johnny’s famous saying and he shouted it out to me as I drove off.
As Is obvious from my entire visit here, I am blessed to know so many good people here, and I still haven’t seen them all yet. Just a week or so to go before I return to tropical Virginia, just as the sun is making an appearance here.Just in time for the Olympics.

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