Denbigh: 24th September 2014.
I had the thought that I could make some nice video of a potter working at her wheel. But, when I tried to turn my camcorder on … nothing happened; I’d forgotten to put it on charge the previous night. So, I muttered a few words concerning the perversity of inanimate objects (or words to that effect) and had to content myself with stills.
We had called in at the Brookhouse Pottery on the way to Denbigh. It’s an old woollen mill, which was later used as a brewery. David and Margaret Frith set up their workshop and gallery here in 1976, having already been potting in Denbigh since 1963.
Although I don’t pot myself, I am fascinated by it. I think it’s probably the oldest creative craft there is. We have some replicas of primitive pots in the Neolithic Houses at Stonehenge, and I think it goes back even further than that.
Nevertheless, how often do we take that humble cup which holds our morning coffee for granted? But, if you buy any of David and Margaret’s wares, you never will again.
The pottery stands on the banks of the River Ystrad, and, on both sides of it are the kilns in which the pots are fired. The clay, and the wood for these are also stored here, and everything is set in a beautiful garden.
Margaret said that, to make the pots, you need to get yourself into the right, relaxed frame of mind. You don’t do the best work when you’re angry or stressed. And, I think the garden goes a long way towards achieving the peaceful attitude necessary.
Disclosure: I travelled as the guest of North Wales Tourism, but any opinions expressed are my own.