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May 3, 2009 Clementina

These are images of my visit to Cornwall in March…a bit belated, but nevertheless here they are. I had always felt that I should see the Bernard Leach Pottery as in a way he was my reason for starting off on the ceramic path. So it was a kind of a pilgrimage. I found the studio – now a museum – very beautiful and inspiring but not wanting to replicate that sort of atmosphere. Jack Doherty kindly gave me a tour of the working studios in a new wing where guest potters and students work. I also read Edmund de Waal’s book on Leach while I was there and this gave me a much more balanced insight into the man whom we as students in the 70’s revered as a type of guru. After finding out more about him as a person and a maker, I realised that he was far more ‘ordinarily human’ with all the vices and weaknesses that accompany this state.
I also spent some time with Petronilla Silver who runs the Wills Lane Gallery where she shows my work. Walking along the cobbled streets in St.Ives reminded me a lot of Kalk Bay here in Cape Town, only more authentic and prettier.

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