I first fell in love with pottery in 2006 while living in Orkney, a group of Islands off the north coast of Scotland. This began as weekly pottery lessons with David Holmes and soon became an apprenticeship that continued from 2006-2013.
In this time we covered many aspects of pottery, from processing terracotta, to creating unique glazes to running pottery camps. David instilled the importance of an optimistic outlook, you can never be sure how a pot will turn out. If it didn't work, then we would make it again.
I have since moved to Phillip Island, Australia where I continue to explore ceramics in my home studio in Rhyll. I have spent years focusing on the form and finish of my pots, recreating David’s iconic teapot and raku glazes.
I am continually inspired by nature and feel very passionate about the conservation of our environment. I strive to reduce my environmental impact with small choices such as only advertising and packaging with biodegradable/recycled materials and using rainwater in the studio. I also have hopes of installing solar panels in the near future.
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. 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 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.
David Holmes was always deeply invested in his community wherever he was. He played the violin and saw the value in running a local music group, giving his time weekly to ensure it thrived; he also organised and performed a solo in a concert for the community. He also helped with bigger projects on the island such as the installation and upkeep of the community wind turbine on Shapinsay; this still brings in clean energy and much funding for the small community.
'Kilns, Fire and Fun' pottery camps that David hosted were a massive success 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 and pizzas cooked in his handmade pizza oven in the grounds of the mill where he lived.