Sometimes a solution to a problem is right in front of you all along! The problem? Firstly, the Smithy building to the east of Lochcarron- which was formerly a Heritage Centre has been unused for a while because it is in need of renovations and repair. It has got flooded and damp while waiting for funding to restore it as a useful community venue. Having it sitting closed doesn’t do the other business and activities at the Smithy Community Hub any favours. Visitors often ask why is it closed, or just drive past. Secondly, I have missed teaching pottery, I simply don’t have the space at home to produce much and certainly not run classes. Art equipment like paint and pencils can be packed into bags and taken to various venues for me to teach, but carrying a potter’s wheel and kiln is another matter! A Raku demonstration I ran in February at the Treehouse was great fun and enjoyed by all, but it took a week of car journeys to set up!
So I needed somewhere to set up my pottery equipment, somewhere to run classes, somewhere that allows me time to keep up my other work commitments, tutoring, design, web-marketing, illustration, painting etc, I needed somewhere that isn’t carpeted or pristine. The solution? A Pop-up Pottery, at the Smithy! The board of Lochcarron Community Development Company have very kindly agreed to rent me the building for the meantime until a long term solution is found to restore it. I will be Opening every Thursday to deliver adults and children’s classes as well as other times for special events or for groups by arrangement. Visitors will be able to pop in when I am open and throw a pot to be posted onto them when it is fired. Things will be rough and ready, but we’ll still be able to do a wide range of pottery techniques. I only have a small portable kiln since closing my last studio in 2005, but it works fine for all except big pots, and it will help to dry the building out!
The pop-up Pottery Opens Thursday 2nd of April, and along with all the other activities on site, the ‘Made in Lochcarron’ Gallery and information point, Kiki’s Craft Corner, John MacPhersons weaving, and the Treehouse, there will be plenty of things happening for all interests! I am kicking off with a couple of Easter taster pottery sessions during the holidays, then settling down into a weekly routine. Please come along on the 2nd to find out more & say hello, There may be cake and the kettle will be on!