First things first, if you think we mean actually throwing (aka lobbing) a pot; this feature might not be for you. We’re on about crafting your very own ceramics, from scratch, from clay and you bet’cha that means on the wheel, a little bit Demi and Swayze style.
After becoming obsessed with pottery since the first series of the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down and since filling our small rented flat with ALL the vases, cute bowls and pots, we can physically buy from May’s Artists Open Houses, we thought it was about time to create our own.
So, we enrolled on a beginner hour-long session with Adam Campbell, who owns the Art Shop & Pottery on Western Road, with wife Gill. And we’ll admit, it was harder than it looks. Although VERY satisfying!
Adam, who you’ll instantly recognise for his vibrant shirts and having one of the best styled moustaches we’ve ever seen, and Gill both have had successful careers in the creative world – Gill as a painter and Adam as a prop maker, set builder and ceramicist.
They also previously owned a homeware store on the same road, for many years too. This, as Adam explains gave the creative couple the idea for opening the store:
“Having run another business in Hove for over eight years, we realised that most of our clients were either practising artists or loved art. As Western Road did not have an art shop we thought it was time to open one!”
As a practising ceramist, Adam teaches pottery wheel lessons from the art store’s basement studio. In just an hour we each learnt a few of the techniques to create a fully-fledged bowl (although one of us got a bit too giddy and we almost didn’t have a bowl at the end of it).
Then they were fired and we painted them, rather relaxingly, back in the studio two weeks later. After a final firing we picked them up and well, we couldn’t be happier with our first attempts – pretty good, aren’t they?
One of the things we loved most about the experience was switching off and concentrating on creating – a far cry from our usual Saturday afternoons of being on our laptops or our phones. Adam told us it was one of his favourite things too:
“We live in such a digital age, people are looking for an antidote,” he said. “Throwing on the wheel is an amazing connection of mind and body.”
It really is. So what will we be making next we hear you cry? Well, according to Adam, now we’ve been by the pottery making bug, the world is our oyster:
“You can never get bored with clay and on the wheel the challenge is always higher, higher, bigger, bigger!”
Challenge accepted. Find Art Shop & Pottery at 108 Western Road, Hove.