Ever since we posted our tour of Lisa Hammond's Maze Hill pottery in celebration of her recent MBE, people have been emailing in to ask us about her ceramics charity 'Adopt a Potter' and how they can get in touch. Here's a film of Lisa herself explaining a little bit more about what the 'Adopt a Potter' project does and how you can help.
an apprentice stacking work fresh from the kiln in Lisa Hammond's studio
'Adopt a Potter' has a simple aim: to help in securing the future of studio potters. Founded in 2009, the original idea for the Trust came from an experienced potter - Lisa Hammond - who has a tradition of taking apprentices at her studio in London. Some of these apprentices have now become well-recognised potters in their own right.
It takes years to train a studio potter. Unfortunately, the craft of pottery has all but vanished from art college and university courses, with most ceramics teaching focusing on sculptural work in preference to the traditional techniques of throwing and firing. Though studio ceramics has recently begun to reassert its importance, it is still as difficult as ever for a budding studio potter to gain the experience and teaching they need to succeed.
apprentices help in almost every aspect of the running of a studio, including all-important firings
Many colleges are finding it difficult to offer throwing in any meaningful way, so it is more important than ever for a student wishing to make functional wares and studio pots to have the opportunity of an apprenticeship with an experienced professional potter.
The principle of 'Adopt a Potter' is just that: helping young students of pottery find an experienced potter who can offer them an apprenticeship. If you’d like to find out more about the charity or make a donation, you can visit the Adopt a Potter website here.