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Pottery is one of Scotland’s oldest crafts but has become a lot less common in recent years as people are choosing cheaper, mass produced pottery over hand-made items.
George Young is a traditional potter who creates beautiful and functional ceramics from his studio in Blebocraigs, Fife. He said:
“It’s a very enjoyable process to be able to think a shape and to be able to realise it within a very short period of time. It’s a very rewarding thing to be able to do. I’ve had my own workshop for almost 30 years now.
“I’ve always enjoyed making practical things and I’m very interested in making simple, very short forms. It interests me to make something that is functional and decorative and to get that balance right is important to me.
“The first part of the process is mixing the clay. Everything I make is a practical shape but there’s a huge range of pottery you can make, so you have no excuse to get bored making things.”
Pottery is similar to drawing in that you can find a nice cut or a well shaped handle in every crafted piece. There is a story in every pot and it’s worthwhile taking your time finishing off the piece that you’re making because the chances are it’s going to be around for thousands of years. George said:
“If you look at the finger marks in pots you can put your fingers in the positions of the people who made these thousands of years ago, and problems that I am solving now are the same problems they were solving thousands of years ago. I think that in itself is an interesting concept.
“You put a little bit of yourself into everything you make and it’s very important that the person who handles that gets a feeling for that. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
You can visit George in his studio working, purchase his pottery products or join one of his pottery classes. Visit his website for more information.
George is participating in Fife’s Open Studios event on May 6, 7 and 8. For more information see the website.