Hamish Jackson’s pots
I’ve been at the pottery just over a year now — this has been my second summer. After having spent the last cycle working on new glazes in Mark’s newer kiln, it’s been fun to get back to the salt kiln. I love the results on the surface of the pots, when the salt vaporizes and attacks them, creating that orange peel-like texture. It makes even the less decorated pots striking.
It’s been rewarding to make new shapes and to try more closed forms like bottles, wall pockets, and jugs. I especially enjoyed making tankards, which were one of Adrian’s favorite forms to throw. The summer firing was characteristically balmy; it was ninety-some degrees and humid, and standing next to a 2400 degree kiln is much more strenuous under such conditions, but still an enjoyable experience (especially the celebratory beer at the end). Another plus of the summer has been the home-grown tomatoes from Mark’s garden, and all the okra that just keeps coming. It’s been great working with the newest member of the team, Stillman Browning-Howe. He’s made some nice pots, even in his first cycle, and I look forward to seeing develop over the coming years.
Four months ago I started my apprentiship at the Hewitt Pottery. I grew up in North Carolina throwing pots with my Aunt in Durham at “Sarah’s House of Clay”. I first came out here aged 14 to ask Mark about a potential apprenticeship and he told me I was the third person to ask him about it that day. He told me to go away and read about pottery and make sure I was committed, to come back. Whilst the last apprentice Adrian King was here I came to help do some labor at the pottery: sanding pots at first and then working full time as a laborer to help prepare for the firing in the Spring.
In April I began as an official apprentice. Mark started me out throwing as many juice cups and custard cups as I could with half a pound of clay. It was difficult at first but I’ve seen and felt a big improvement over the past four months. I’ve been enjoying the challenge and pushing myself more than I’m used to. It’s a pleasure to be in this place and working with such an accomplished craftsman. I’m excited to see where the next few years take me.