On Making Flowerpots

Terracotta flowerpots – made with pleasure.

Lockdown was ending, spring was springing and the wall out of the kitchen window was looking grim. The Garden design Committee (AKA my wife and I) decided it needed some pots with herbs and flowers hung on it to bring a little extra visual pleasure into our lives.
So, I dug out a bag of smooth terracotta I’d bought from Ceramatech, up in Tottenham (N. London), hauled it to The Kiln Rooms in Peckham Rye (S. London) and got to work.
It was old fashioned fun.
That bag of terracotta had been around for some time and clay just gets better and better with age, so it was a potter’s dream to use. Also, those pots were for a garden, our garden. It’s an informal space and as such invites pots that reflect that informality. That meant that I could throw with a speed and a looseness I seldom allow myself. Those flowerpots have fat rolled rims at the tops and a little extra heft. They’re flowerpots not coffee cups. They need to be robust. So, one or two fewer pulls than usual and the occasional throwing ring doesn’t hurt. Though I say it myself I liked them.
Which is as it should be. If you don’t like your own work why should anyone else give it space or time. And for me that was what it was all about. Yes, I like what I do, and I like making pots but when I sat down at the wheel the other day I remembered something important. That one of the reasons I became a potter was because I enjoyed the simple act of throwing.
Looking at those pots now, hanging on the wall in two rows, it seems to me that they’re pretty good. But then, they were made with, and for, pleasure and I can’t help feeling that that’s a good genesis for anything. Make with pleasure and it will feel and look good. It really is a simple as that.