Read some stories from SPA members about why they joined and their experiences as a member.
“From my first lesson I have been smitten by making pottery. I find it very therapeutic, relaxing and my kind of escapism from this busy world. Over the years, I have learnt so much and realise that there are still an infinite number of challenges ahead. Pottery is so diverse and I’m always up for a challenge. I have honed my skills towards throwing pots and using Raku as my preferred method to decorate. I am always amazed at achieving fantastic results. However I have learned to coil and hand-build pots with my largest achievement being made out of coiled clay. My first really large pot was made during a course I attended, hosted by a member of the Scottish Potters Association. Access to these courses has been just one of the benefits of joining the organisation.
Being a member of the Scottish Potters Association has been a brilliant way of meeting other potters who are only too willing to share their experience and advice. I have attended many workshops over the years and learnt so much. I cannot recommend it enough! The bonus has been the great friendships that I have also made on my journey.
I joined the committee quite early on, during my membership, and have also not regretted that for a minute. It’s been a brilliant way to learn and be involved in the development of not only my pottery and skills but also the Association in general. My enthusiasm for the craft remains bright to this day.”
- Christine Flynn, current Chair of the SPA
"I joined the SPA in 1995 and had free membership for 4 years whilst a ceramic student at Angus College in Arbroath and then Art College in Dundee. I was so grateful for the opportunities to attend workshops and take part in exhibitions around the country that I wanted to give back to the organisation when I could, so have been on the SPA Committee in 3 separate roles (Newsletter Editor, Chair and now Exhibitions Officer) in total about 12 years now. Being on the committee has enabled me to get to know other members from different parts of Scotland, go to their houses and see their ceramic collections! Committee meetings around Scotland have also led me corners of Scotland like Penicuik, Pennan, Whitehills, Culross, and Castle Douglas where we saw Hannah McAndrew’s new kiln, before she became famous!
When I think back to some of the highlights they include a workshop in Orkney at Andrew Appleby’s studio where we made small “kiln gods” and fired them in a peat kiln with Lotte Glob and others, proving that a peat kiln with seaweed and other local fuel could send kiln temperatures much higher than originally assumed by archaeologists.
One year we went to Barbel Dister’s pottery on the Black Isle and built and fired a basket kiln on a nearby estate, we also made ancient looking terracotta pots shaping them with our knees and elbows. Then, more recently, I attended a great workshop in Glasgow with Shozo Michikawa and I understood how he creates his extraordinary textured surfaces. Of course an SPA visit to Japan in 2018 was a major highlight and fulfilled a long held dream of travel there.
I have been a member of the SPA for the last 25 years and I am very grateful to ceramics, the SPA, and the friends I have made through it, for keeping me more or less on centre through the last quarter century!"
- Fran Marquis, Feb 16th 2020