This is a picture of my new friend Jean. I am only just getting to know Jean, but she seems to Laugh a lot, and get clay everywhere. You would think she is applying it as make-up!
Then there is her buddy Jan. She’s the naughty one and the instigator of all this chaos. They come as a pair and are both mastering the art of the potters wheel. In-between the giggles the girls have managed to make what I term as ‘wonderful bowls for olives’
Paul, as I found out by the end of class used to be a structural engineer. He managed huge projects like the glazing of the roof of Kings Cross train Station and The Shard at London Bridge. Now the penny drops, and I realise why his new slab-built pot has been constructed with such care and precision.
I should explain a bit more, Thursday mornings are now my U3A group at The Old George Studio. They are putting me through my paces today. All asking questions, so many questions! I can’t keep up! Luckily the lovely Lesley has taken pity on me and oversees the tea and coffee situation. Then Gill starts handing out the biscuit tin. Making sure everyone gets their fair share of hob-nobs. However, this doesn’t distract them for too long. The questions are being fired off from every angle.
‘What temperature do you fire the pots?’
‘Have you seen Grayson Perry’s art club?’
‘What do you think of pottery throw down? Are they all beginners? ‘
‘Trevor, have you tried ‘Just For Men? It’s very good for grey hair! You should try it.
‘Can I use my bowl to feed my cat treats?’
‘Trevor, what platforms do you use to promote yourself and your business? What hash tags are you using? Don’t worry I’ll show you how…I’m a silver surfer and an influencer don’t you know?!’
‘Trevor, Why is my sausage all lumpy?… you seem to be able to roll yours so smoothly!)’
‘Trevor, how much does it cost to fire your kiln?…..I stare blankly. My brain all turned to mush. Trevor if you don’t know, then how do you know you a running a profitable business? Lyn used to work as a college bursar. Looking after money was her job for many years, and by the steely look in her eyes I bet she was darn good at it as well!
‘About £30 per firing’ I say
Lyn seems happy with this figure. She Mills this over in her mind and I can tell she is a walking talking calculus. Then swiftly moves on to ask do I do craft.
I explain that I know how to knit, but I can only do squares and rectangles. Oh, don’t worry dear I can show you how to do the rest. I’ll have you making garments in no time.
I’m realising that it’s never too late to learn new things, which is the main principle of the U3A mantra, but I’m starting to wonder who is the real teacher here. These lovely motley crew are all being so kind to me too. They support my little enterprise by coming to my class to learn all about pottery. They are kind a patient when I get flustered, and when I don’t know all the answers, they are very keen to help me too, with their own expertise and wise words of wisdom.