Tag Archives: #pottery

Gollum. First time I ever handled clay.


Two of my old nurse colleagues visited yesterday. We discussed much about how we dealt with the enormity of what being a nurse involves. How it simply changes you as a person. We spoke of a lot of other subjects too. Dwelling on the subject of nursing can be pretty claustrophobic! One of the nurses was asking about my pottery pieces. So….when they left I began thinking about the very first piece of pottery I made. The first time I handled clay. So…made in 1982. I made my ‘imagination’ view of Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.

When I began pottery in earnest after this first piece? My style changed dramatically. This piece was fired by a local Earlsdon /Kenilworth potter at Warwick University. He supplied domestic ware pottery to the Wholefood Shop that my wife worked in and we lived above at the time. It was simply dipped in a bucket of glaze and coated. One of a kind really. Because the smaller details got lost under the thickness of glaze I began using raw powdered oxides, carbonates, etc. to brush on and then sponge off to distress and give a ’worn out vintage raiment’ feel. Colour decoration became browns, gun metal black and a tarnished brass equivalent in nature.

Gollum went to all the Craft Fayres I sold at and sat proudly front of stall with a little sign by him saying

‘My very first piece of pottery. The first time touching wonderful clay’.

Someone dropped it on the floor at a craft show and it broke into a fair few pieces. At that moment? I realised that a part of my character was one of possessing a small piece of gentleness in nature. Inside I was crying. Outside I was smiling and issuing words akin to ‘Not a problem. Don’t worry. I’m a potter. I can fix it easily’. I couldn’t really. It was good old Araldite mix and shaking hands that solved it!

This Gollum piece? Reminds me that even with the cracks showing and little bits missing, we can still be in the present after a lifetime where sometimes we get broken and torn.

Gollum’s frown? Well! He’d lost the ring by this time to Bilbo. So even with his catching a juicy sweet fish…..he wasn’t in the best of moods.

“The rock and pool,
is nice and cool.
So Juicy Sweet!
Our only wish
is to catch a fish.
So juicy sweet!”


Please tap on individual photographs to enlarge.