Adopt a Potter Trust is a registered charity which was set up to help secure the future of studio pottery by funding apprenticeships, thus enabling students to work alongside a master potter. It is hoped that an apprentice will learn and develop some of the necessary skills required to establish their own career and business.
Two new apprenticeships have been awarded in 2012. The first goes to the partnership of ceramicist Emma Rogers and trainee Michelle Cox. Emma first noticed Michelle when she was teaching at her sixth form college, and saw instantly that she was a natural with clay. Here are Michelle's thoughts on her experience
"Being one of the lucky apprentices I have been given the opportunity to work alongside Emma Rodgers. The first 7 months as Emma's apprentice has been a whirl wind of learning. Being able to work along side Emma in her studio has given me a wealth of knowledge of how to run a successful studio. I have been able to learn making techniques from a master and have had opportunities to pass on my own knowledge through assisting Emma with teaching.
When Emma and I started the apprenticeship we had the aim in mind that at the end of the year, I would be in such a position, that I would have the knowledge and confidence to follow my dream of being an established maker.
With the opportunities Adopt A Potter and Emma have given me I feel that with hard work, my dream can be realised. From working in the studio I have been introduced to a number of galleriers who I now show with around the country. I have also been lucky enough to be accepted to exhibit at Art in Clay in July, something Emma and I are both very excited about as it is a show very close to her heart. Being able to show as a Newcomer at Art in Clay, Hatfield is yet again a fantastic opportunity, and many thanks to Andy and Di for giving it to me. I am really looking forward to the show, last year I was a helper and remember the great atmosphere, this year I get to experience that atmosphere as an exhibitor, so maybe I'll have a few nerves, but they'll be the good excited type."
It's fantastic to hear of such a positive experience and think this shows the value of Adopt-a-Potter, a big thank you to Michelle for sharing her experience with us, we look forward to seeing her work at the show.
The second award of 2012 goes to Jonathan Chiswell-Jones and Pasha Manzarolli. Pasha joined Jonathan at his JCJ Pottery in East Susssex from school this year. Jonathan feels that Pasha has already shown great aptitude for clay, so her progress will be fascinating to watch.
More information available at www.adoptapotter.org.uk
Emma Rodgers is an amazing sculptor we first came to know as a student showing for the first time with her degree show at Art in Clay Hatfield - a few years ago now. She has become a very successful and internationally known artist, if you would like to see more of her work or contact her, this is her website www.emmarodgers.co.uk