David Holmes was born and raised in Yorkshire in 1945. In 2002 he moved to live on the isle of Shapinsay in the Orkney islands. That is when I had the joy of knowing him and the privilege of being his apprentice from 2006-2013. He taught me everything I know about pottery and I just hope to continue his legacy in my work.

Healthy living was at the core of David's belief system and his way of living should be an inspiration to us all. He would run miles every day and ate vegan to ensure he only put the best foods into his body. He did not have a bad bone in his body, and I for one will remember him for the depth of his genuine kindness as well as all the incredible things that he did. He continues to be a massive inspiration to my work as well as my life. It was a privilege to know David Holmes and I shall forever be thankful for the time we had together.

As an out of the box thinker David always had new ideas to try and projects to work on, from re-building and restoring the wheel at his mill to making pots as large as himself; he had even planned to make the largest pot in the world! Sadly he was unable to complete all of these plans, I do hope to continue the more feasible of his projects in the future.

David Holmes was always deeply invested in his community wherever he was. He saw the value in running a local music group and gave his time weekly ensure it thrived; he ever organised and preformed a solo in a concert by the community for the community. He also helped with bigger projects on the island such as the installation and upkeep of the windmill on Shapinsay; this still brings in clean energy and much funding for these and other community groups.

'Kilns, Fire and Fun' pottery camps that David hosted were a massive hit with both the attendees and the local community, providing  the opportunity for anyone to experience the joys of potting. As with everything he did, these camps brought the community together by including social nights with local musicians as our pizzas cooked in his handmade pizza oven.

David Holmes

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