This week I have been making test pieces; some for commissions but others using clays which people have brought me to experiment with. The results have been mixed but some have been really lovely and I am excited about the promise which they hold.
Of particular note is a piece using material from the hole which was dug last winter outside my family home of 50 years by the men who were replacing the gas main. They were digging it round when I thought it should have been square! and they looked at me as if I had lost my marbles when I asked them to let me have some of the material from the bottom of it but I think I might be going to get the last laugh!
It is really important to me that this material can be worked into a thing of beauty. The hole from which it came was directly outside the front gate to the home that my parents bought when I was ten years old. My siblings and I spent our formative years living here; I got married from this house; both my children were baptised from this house. Copious tears and shrieks of laughter have been shed around the kitchen table here and now it is being sold.
In fact, indirectly, the hole is involved in the sale of our home. If it had not been for the gas men digging it, Dad would have had no trouble parking his car and the con men who came to his aid, and then abused his trust by subjecting him to a dreadful scam, would not have upset his equilibrium to such an extent that he was no longer able to stay there surrounded by happy memories.
So this material is for a commission of sorts: Its for me! The finished piece will take pride of place somewhere in my home. I think I might even build a special shelf for it. I don’t exactly want a shrine for my childhood. It was good, but not that good! I just feel pleased at the idea of having something so closely related to so many happy memories in full view.