Collector's item

While trying to find more space to house clay supplies, I happened upon a box of rocks.. yes.. rocks. We have been carrying them with us everywhere we moved to, so most of these have quite some mileage in them. This was just one of the many boxes...

All of this got me wondering... why do we collect things, what is a collector, and what is the difference between a collector and a hoarder? I have amassed quite a bit of art supplies over the years and since I can always find some useful purpose for them, now or in the near future, I cannot let go. Many years ago, I started gathering small pots and vases (another box that has travelled well) and which, in light of my passionate clay revival, will now see daylight again, in addition to the lovely new pieces acquired from various potters. Slowly but surely.. the collection is growing. When I saw this bowl by Carl Radford I HAD to have it. It's a quant little pot with a gorgeous Turquoise and rusty brown glaze, my favourite colour combination. Each time I look at it, I see a different pattern. And Carl is a lovely guy, which makes this pot even more special :)

As luck would have it, my favourite coffee mug chipped JUST as I was looking at more hand made mugs online. What are the chances? So I landed this beauty from the lovely Jeorgie at JGPots It's the perfect size for my daily dosage of freshly brewed mocha. Look at those colours!

In the meantime, Potfest arrived and since I was not able to go and missed out on being surrounded by fabulous potters, soak up their knowledge or see and touch their wares, I feasted on the pictures posted on social media and I fell in love with this beautiful bowl.

The whimsical slip decorations in black and white just tickle my happy bone. I have my eye on one of Mark Dally's larger plates for some time in the near future! Since our budget has been hugely depleted by the purchase of a kiln, a shed for the kiln and the many clay supplies and tools, I've put the "collecting" on hold for a bit... until I feel less guilty for getting yet another wonderfully handmade piece to adorn our shelves. That said.. when the lovely Caroline Gault posted a picture of one of her adorable gnomes, I had to make a last minute exception to the rule. How could I not add one of these! Besides, "Gandalf" aka the "Guardian of all things Clay" will watch over my pots. He'll do a great job, I am sure!

Now that my own venture is well and truly underway, I look at every piece with a new interest. I admire how the glaze breaks over a texture, how the handles fit the pot, how the foot feels nice and smooth. I follow potters showing their online kiln openings and share their enthusiasm when the firing has resulted in an unexpected gem, but also when the pieces have been blown to smithereens and hours or even days of hard work have come undone. It makes me realise the tremendous craftmanship involved in this realm of unpredictability that is making ceramics. I hope that soon, I will be able to share my own successes and undoubtfully many mishaps while I learn the tricks of the trade to produce a piece which someone may feel worthy for their collection some day. Chris PS: I am not good at self promoting, let alone asking for help but if you have not yet had the chance to look at my crowdfunding page, please head over there and just read my story. You can even get some lovely hand made pieces for yourself or to give to family and friends while helping me getting a potter's wheel :) Simply click here

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