My mom made the best food and clothes and she had a tinkling in her laugh that was infectious. I recall people talking about her artwork and her stories that she wrote and I remember she was the best story teller and the best painting artist that I ever knew.
Through my parents eyes and ears I learned to appreciate Michael Angelo (we had a thick book about his life and career on our coffee table) and Tchaikovsky.
I was an all-rounder in school. A little sport, a little singing and recitation, writing and whatever a young girl could do to impress teachers and peers. I even tried to paint, but failure convinced me that painting was not my forte!
I was already married when my husband and I were passing a gallery one day. I saw beautiful stone –like objects through the window and it draw me into the gallery like a magnet. After a conversation with the gallery owner, I found out it was called pottery. At the time I knew nothing about clay; not where it came from, not how it gets hardened and where the shiny glassy layer came from and I never imagined that 34 years later I will still be learning about pottery.
For a time after that incident I traded cheap slip cast ornamental objects from hawkers that wondered our streets in search for old clothes and household items. I as so ignorant about clay, that the molded and copper painted horse sculpture that hung on my wall became my biggest treasure!
It took another year or so before I had my first pottery class in Evander South Africa.
Exploring the beginning of pottery, there is no definite historical story, but it is said that clay was roughly shaped and originally used raw to hide food from predators in prehistoric times. They soon discovered that water last a little longer in a mud container and that food stayed fresher in a clay hive. It is been said that someone one day dropped a clay object in a fire and it came out hardened. The first pottery was created.
During those first 6 months of my career in 1981 when I learned the very first steps in making pottery, I never learned to take clay beyond the forming process. I never learned to glaze and fire clay. I I did however learned that clay shrinks about 25 % (which is not always true), so when I made my first pencil holder, I made holes the size of broomsticks – they were supposed to shrink, right!
The teacher was not too eager to teach me, so my first ashtray (my husband and I were not a smokers, but it was still the fashion of the day) was so heavy and unfinished, I could kill a deer with it.
I had to stop throwing on the wheel when I got pregnant with Linkie. My pots were so drunk and I was so sick, the two just did not go along with each other. It was then that my dear husband told me that he will eat his hat if I ever become a potter!
It would take me another 2 years before my career took off……...