Hi I'm Adam from season 4 of The Great Pottery Throw Down.
Clay is one of my oldest friends and has got me through some really tricky parts of my life. I adore anything creative so studied a degree in Contemporary applied arts in 2003. This let me have a go at all sorts of techniques, Woodwork, Metalwork, Plastics, Textiles, Graphics, Ceramics and Glass blowing.
Glass blowing absolutely blew my mind as it is such a fun and fascinating process! I spent the majority of my degree in the glass studio but kept all everything else as a hobby, bubbling away in the background.
In 2007 I was run over by a car, I was a pedestrian and suffered extreme injuries to my legs and head. I broke both my legs and ankles in several places, broke my nose, lost a lot of teeth and fractured my scull so badly that for a time I had a recurring amnesia. For 18 months I focussed on my physical and mental recovery through creativity and crafting.
The trauma and frustration of being in a wheelchair with no memory and in constant pain was tempered for me by a life long love of hand building clay. I have always had a bag of clay in the house and I had a kiln for my glass fusing so I could quickly begin making things with clay, First for mindfulness and then for a sense of purpose, Just being able to sit down with a ball of clay in my hand and my imagination was often a real lifesaver. My memory slowly returned (ish) and with a lot of hard work and determination my body began to heal. However exhausted and glum I was, I would always end my day with a ball of clay in hand to create something. It would absorb all of my feelings and give me a real sense of achievement.
Slowly as I got ‘better’ mentally and physically I also got better at hand building with clay. I had really fallen in love with clay in a huge way and now describe it as a part of me.
Being in a wheelchair and having several mental limitations taught so much about myself, who I want to be and how I want to live my life. So when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at the chance to work with a charity for adults with learning disabilities.SuperstarArts.com supports adults with learning disabilities through creative projects and our aim is to be self sufficient making and producing high quality, prints, crafts and textiles. Currently I am on the board of trustees for Superstar Arts - helping to develop the future security of the amazing charity.
My first go at ceramics was when I was 8 or 9 when my friends mum bought her wheel in and let everyone try to throw a pot. I made a terrible pot! But had made a connection and for the rest of my life have asked for a bag of clay for Christmas every year. I have just always loved the idea that you can make things out of mud!
I didn’t throw again until 2019 when I found a kick wheel on eBay for £129. It was being sold locally so felt like fate. I already had some clay for hand building so I thought I'd have a go! Why not - the best thing about ceramics is that there are no wrong answers. SO I got on Youtube and I thought myself to throw. Hilariously for the first few weeks I was throwing with the wheel spinning in the wrong direction which made me feel really silly! But now I have also learned the correct meaning I can throw both directions - that can come in handy!
It has taken me hundreds of hours to learn to throw. My kick wheel is in the garden so whenever the weather is nice I will pop outside and have a throw. It is very messy work so to make it easy for Daniel, I can often be found throwing in just my apron so he can just hose me down then there is no washing.
Occasionally if it’s raining Daniel, my finance, will help me carry my wheel inside so that I can throw inside in the warm. I LOVE this because then I can throw and watch tv with Dan and our pug Egg. Terracotta has become a big no no inside through as it make a LOT of mess! oops.
My love of ceramics is pretty much all things clay, I love to make things that could be artefacts from mythical cities like Atlantis, or that could have grown in nature. I love the idea that someone might pick up something I’ve made and not instantly know that it was manmade, or see it and be intrigued by it so much that they have the urge to look at it and touch it. I think that art and ceramics should be fun so I hope that people see that in my work.
Myself and Dan (with Egg’s help) open Make it 11 to the public when we transform it into a shop/open studio as part of the Brighton Festival. Dan is a graphic designer and we both seem to collect hobbies so we display lots of our own work and the fabulous creations of our family and friends. Our creations and hobbies are collected at makeit11.com
follow me @adamceramic
look at Dans shop @makeit11
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