1978 was the year I graduated with a degree in Ceramics from Bristol Polytechnic.
I’d reached out to art in my teens as a way of asserting a direction, without knowing where that direction might take me. It was driven by some deep-rooted instinct; an instinct which for a long time I thought had failed me. But it hadn’t.
As it’s turned out, my life has taken many “twists and turns, and loops and leaps”, most of which have left me struggling to find a foothold. Finally, however, I feel I am on firm ground, and astonished to find myself turning back to working with clay, after a break of over 40 years.
What’s even more astonishing is that I’m not only loving working with the medium, I’ve got ideas coming into my head from goodness knows where. I’m not having to push myself just to produce something, anything, as I did when I was at college (although I was proud of what I did produce in the end; it was no easy feat, considering the complexity of mental health problems I was dealing with).
Art didn’t work as a therapy for me when I was younger; the damage went too deep and I had to find ways to dig it out – just like clay has to be dug out. What I’ve got now is malleable and mouldable in whatever way I choose. I can be creative in any way or ways that suit me; working with clay or words; working with my life.
I hope my pots can be poetic; and that my poetry will continue to be potty.
When I was young I didn’t really follow any one I wasn’t into screaming at the Beatles Or collecting singles or going to concerts I’ve always been a bit behind with a lot of things I can never remember names Or who played what or where or when But then that maybe only matters In pub quizzes or if you want to feel flattered By other people praising you for what you know It would be nice though, sometimes, to be the one Who remembers what they heard when they were young And relate it to a first kiss, or a walk in the park But then I never could get up with the lark Always had a bit of a struggle, doing the usual things Although I did listen quite a lot to Cat Stevens Wishing I could be Sad Lisa but ending up just being sad Still, it hasn’t all been bad At least I haven’t got cluttered up With a load of CDs that I don’t know what to do with And now that I’m 61 I can listen to anyone Or anything I choose And my music collection Is out there waiting for me Just as it was All those years ago When I was young
However, even though he helped me to write the poem, I’m only crediting him with eating the pie, unless he wants to eat his words. Ha!
The perfect pie
The perfect pie is sensationally satisfying oozing with succulent gorgeous, gravy goodness as the nostril-caressing aroma emanating from its slab-like form stimulates the anticipation of marvellous meatiness turning into an explosion of flavour the savouring of which makes the world immediately a better place – perfection on a plate.