A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pottering around...

Bill is an expert potter and a raconteur. A few years ago after the last of my Morrocan terracotta tagine dishes got smashed, I asked him if he could make me a few. He asked for a design. I downloaded a few examples and he began supplying me with English made tagines.

Today, I spent nearly two hours at his village pottery, watching him throw lumps of clay and magically turn them into beautiful tagines.

Bill loves talking. He made me a cup of Yorkshire tea after going through what felt like a slow Japanese tea ceremony. And then he began reeling off tales of pottery, clay, noisy neighbours, foreign holidays, tandoori ovens, etc...

It took him about ten minutes to make two dishes and one lid in all the time I spent with him. As I was leaving, he said: "I could've been making a few more while we were talking!"
I gasped: "WE were talking?"

I know that, by the time he fires and glazes them it will be summer.


Blogger Caroline said...

How satisfying to watch a potter! I've had a go (for over a year actually) but eventually came to the conclusion that mud puppy that I am I'm not destined to make symmetrical pots!

You are lucky to have such a friend.

22/2/07 8:51 PM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I want one. Where can I get one? Will you show me how to use it, please?

Oh! and I am metaphorically throwing my arms right around you and giving you a big sloppy kiss on both cheeks. I have missed you x

22/2/07 11:10 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Potters make magic. Apparently they also make a lot of hot air. Thanks for the grin, C ~ I needed it.

22/2/07 11:15 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

the sensuality of pottery making is so amazing.

working alone, hour after hour, it must have been a lovely break to have you come by.

23/2/07 7:04 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

(I'm never sure which is more intense: pottery making, or watching someone form glass with a furnace and all of those heavy tools, sometimes blowing........ quite amazing. I think of the glass blowers/makers as all part of Vulcan's army. And no mystery to me that he had Venus by his side!)

23/2/07 7:07 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Cream they are beautiful! I love the decoration.

23/2/07 1:33 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Caro, I would love to do some pottery but I don't think my pots will be symetrical either.

Cherrybabe, I am afraid they are exclusive to my restaurant. Hahaha!
Missed you too by the way!

Andrea, could you imagine a collection of pots using your colours? That would be amazing!

Yes, the sensuality, Hayden. Do you remember the film Ghost with Demi Moore...
Bill is a busy guy nowadays because he sells plaster, clay and kilns to schools, etc... But he still loves his pottery.

The decoration was a joint effort, Mary. No two are the same!

23/2/07 5:17 PM  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Now if Bill looked more like Demi Moore you could have re-shot that scene from Ghost!

Women love Potters because they have great hands and soft fingers.

That was very cool..I'd love to spend an afternoon listening and watching..but I might 'Irish up' the Tea if I won't get to do any talking.

23/2/07 11:21 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Dear Bill, in a Britain of disappearing skills he is a treasure. The design on that tagine dish looks a bit like one of your funny faces! Isn't "bespoke" great, if you can afford it?

When I've smashed all my Polish pottery I'll know where to come.

24/2/07 6:56 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

HE, your insight gives a totally new meaning to pottering around in the garden shed! Either with the neighbour's wife or a bottle of Jamesons...

Daphnée, you are right. Most of our pottery comes from China nowadays.
Actually, you are right about the funny face. You are so absorbant, woman!
Polish china? Never!

24/2/07 9:45 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

What a wonderful time with Bill! Very cool, glad you brought your camera! I love clay ever since I was little and I still play (not like Bill!) any chance I can.

24/2/07 9:08 PM  
Blogger muddy red shoes said...

You are back! I missed you, look forward to seeing the finished english style tagines, really glad you are back xx

24/2/07 10:55 PM  
Blogger kj said...

cream, i am glad you're back. now i can get to know you. i note that cherrypie likes you. i only hope she comes around to metaphorically visit me too.

i love watching a potters wheel. it is magical to me. you must be a good listener, cream....

25/2/07 3:47 AM  
Anonymous guyana-gyal said...

Really? Is pottery a disappearing skill? That's sad, I hope not. Heh, I'd have enjoyed listening to Bill. Did you get a word in sideways?

25/2/07 9:58 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Val, the guy is a compulsive talker! But the tales are so interesting!

I'm not sure when Bill will finish the tagines, Sarah, if ever. I am glad I'm back too.

KJ, Cherrybabes is such a smoothie... and yes, I am a good listener. Nice to see you back too.

Gigi, nice to have you back! Not a word, not even edgeways and I CAN waffle!

26/2/07 12:25 AM  
Blogger My Marrakech said...

Ah...but there is really nothing like a Moroccan tagine, is there, for producing something quite delicious?

26/2/07 3:25 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

I agree, MM... But have you ever tasted fish and chips out of an English tagine? Mmmmmm...
Just kidding.
We only use ours to serve the food in, not to cook it in. They are very popular.

26/2/07 11:10 AM  
Anonymous guyana-gyal said...

That had me laughing for a couple of days Cream, the thought of you not being able to get a word in sideways.

28/2/07 2:45 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Gigi, how can you think that I WAFFLE...

28/2/07 6:42 PM  

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