I always feel I have to apologise for my non art college background. My Occupational Therapy training was so long ago that it included applying different arts and crafts to the therapeutic setting, but I really was rubbish at it. The making that is .. I never really worked in a post that involved applying it. To receive the instruction at the beginning of a Thursday afternoon art class back in 1978, to make a 3D paper sculpture, triggered the flight centre in my brain. Should have watched more Blue Peter I thought. As it turned out less Blue Peter and more imagination would have been much better. It doesn’t matter how many paper tubes you make. You will never get them to look like a donkey (I know.. donkey??)
But we should never apologise for such things and at the ripe old age of 50 I started playing about with illustrations .. illustrations that I could reproduce fairly quickly for the purpose of selling greetings cards. It seemed flowers are my thing. And at 55, when I retired properly from OT, I decided to learn how to make ceramic flowers.
Then the struggle to source a second hand kiln .. Gold dust!! How and ever, you find ceramicists as a general rule are so very helpful and support each other. Patricia Millar Ceramics (recently starring on Country File) alerted me to a kiln going free to a good home, just down the road. Too good to be true I thought and when I saw the kiln .. my heart sank .. no way! HUGE rusting beast of a kiln, I thought. Patricia reassured me that the kiln was actually not so big internally (big thick bricks) and that it really was a gem. So with the help of 3 strong men, a manual forklift, nerves of steel and the promise of lots of Guiness we got it into my garage. I named my kiln Molly and am very fond of her, old and rusty as she is.
I was thrilled to be asked to join the NDCC which gave me the opportunity to be part of a monthly market. A group of like minded people who help each other develop and evolve. I just love it! Thomas Powell Pottery from the collective has designed little bottles just for my flowers. Parallel to the NDCC I have a significant range in 2 wonderful galleries .. The Doghouse Gallery in Comber and Above and Beyond the Warehouse in Derrystrokelondonderry. My cards are also in Ards Crafts and Marie Cafolla Flowers. Finally I enjoy taking part in the Ards Creative Peninsula events. I won’t mention the disc protrusions in my neck from prolonged stooping, or all the late nights working. Or the flower rejects. It goes with the territory …. and I love it.