I’m excited to be introducing a new series of monthly blog posts to introduce some of the regular students at the studio and learn a bit about what motivated them to learn pottery, what inspires them, and what they do with their works. Our first “Meet the Student” for October is Mel.
I first met Mel during my first one-day throwing workshop with Clover back in July and straight away it was clear that she was funny, entertaining, and good for a laugh. Mel has been learning pottery for a year - in fact she first started exactly a year ago today! Mel won a pottery workshop experience when she placed a winning bid at a charity auction, and after some encouraging feedback (“I thought the guy was chatting me up, but it turned out he actually thought I was good at pottery!”) she decided to keep at it. Mel explained “What really motivated me was making a pot that was really good and feeling like I had accomplished something and that I could be good at something - I felt like I can do this and that this was something I could do for me.” One of her favourite pieces is a simple pot that she keeps on her dressing table. “I really felt like the result had achieved what I had in my mind, so that is my favourite piece.”
Mel is inspired by the work of Kate Malone and loves the organic colours and autumnal feel of a lot of her pieces melding greens and browns. She wouldn’t say she has a signature style, but finds inspiration in the moment and follows where the mood might take her when she’s at the wheel or decorating, allowing her to feel more creative.
When I asked what Mel does with her homemade pottery she joked “My son Harry says the house looks like a Roman popina because we have so much pottery now.” She has started to make pieces as gifts as some pots can take a lot of time and care to create, making them special presents that people will appreciate. “It’s difficult though, because sometimes you don’t want to give away your best pieces, but of course you can’t give away the rubbish ones either!”