The whole lead up to the Dulwich Open Houses felt like a stretch. With no clear guides and little experience of these events, I definitely felt the pressure. In the end, it was a terrific weekend. Firstly, the work laid out on the shelves looked incredible (as if it didn't belong to me at all). Second, I got a really warm reaction to the smoke fired work. These pieces made a connection with people in ways I had not expected. I spent a lot of time explaining the process to people, and encouraged everyone to feel them, especially the pods. Compared to a high fired glazed piece, their surfaces feel warm, which always surprises. We also did some sessions in the shed, showing people how throwing works. The smallest children are the best of all. They prove how intuitively enjoyable the process should be. With children, I get to a point after a few minutes where I can stand back and leave them to it. Even four year olds will sit for ages squeezing and opening out generally creating a delightful mess. Its infectious.
So how do I feel now? At the risk of sounding like a sentimental old fool, I mainly just feel a bit choked up. I know, its yucky, but its the truth. I am choked because I have a lorry load of spectacular and generous friends and family and I am so touched that they cared enough to come, let alone buy anything. Even those who couldn't be there sent brilliant messages. I am seriously choked up with the support and I love each and every one of you for that. This became about so much more than a pottery show. It was a reminder about what is really important (and its probably not pottery!).
I also feel lucky that I had the money and opportunity to go to Morley College and learn to pot. I am lucky to have my teacher Annette who is a master at giving me a shove in a direction and then watching me go (til she sees I need the next shove). I am lucky to have my amazing husband who patiently made tea, put up signs, was unfailingly nice to complete strangers and tried his very best to explain my processes to people when I was busy elsewhere (patience not always being his strong point). So yes, I feel pretty amazing actually, and its all of you who made that happen. Thank you!