Looking back over 2018 I realise that it has been a year of milestones in my pottery path.
Where my work is concerned I have spent many years in the mind set of ‘maybe one day’ – trying to protect myself against disappointment I suppose. It is ingrained in my psyche. For a few years now I have liked the way my work is developing and successes have accompanied that development. 2018 however has demanded a more conscious change. I have to be realistic because this year ‘one day’ actually arrived several times. And it’s a strange sensation which needs adapting to.
‘One day’ arrived in February with my work showing for the first time at the wonderful Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. In the same month there was another ‘day’ at Collect 2018 at the Saatchi Gallery in London with Craft Scotland. Much to my astonishment the 3 large raku fired Erosion Jars I was showing all sold. What made this more special was that family and friends were there with me.
Ceramic Art London in March was, again, the spectacular coming together of many talents from the clay community. This was my third year there but I still feel wide eyed and humbled to be among such company. But I have to remember that I’m an old hand now!
Looking back on the calendar it seems that April and May were quieter with only the dogs to walk, and many blissful hours spent making.
There was another, but bitter sweet ‘day’ in June at Earth & Fire International Ceramics Festival. Saying goodbye to a beautiful person and talented maker and feeling so grateful for the friendship of the potter community. Over the years of taking part in these events it is very special to get to know makers, customers, collectors and people who understand and appreciate what we’re making. And because it all comes from humble clay there’s a levelling amongst us.
As a consequence of being seen at Collect2018 another ‘day’ dawned in September, the sun rising this time, in Venice and the wonderful show which was Homo Faber: crafting a more human future. I think this has to be my highlight of the year. My non-potting partner came with me and being an old sea dog, he appreciated the boats, kindly tolerated yet more pots and was impressed that makers can scrub up well when a red carpet event demands it.
October followed closely with another of those ‘days’ (actually a month long show) at Beaux Arts Bath, a gallery I have known and admired since college days. Good sales and the promise of another show in 2020 made me very content.
But the autumn brought sadness too as I said goodbye to a travelling companion who enriched my life in this craft beyond measure. We met through our appreciation of Shozo Michikawa, fired his Cumbrian anagama together, travelled through Japan (she was fearless, bicycling in Tokyo), we wallowed in onsen, and she always beat me to choice pots by her good eye and decisiveness. She will be missed as we head onwards into 2019
Campai JH xxx