Recently at tafe we were asked to write a piece on someone who had inspired us. They were to be considered for publication in a magazine while mine was not selected I thought this a good oportuntity to share some of my story with you.
I met Don Jones in early 2003. I was immediately take by his love and knowledge of pottery. Within a short time he had me with clay in hand (for the first time) on the wheel. While not a natural I was hooked from the start with Don guiding the way I slowly got the hang of centering and pulling up walls. Then of course I wanted to make something. Alas, "100 decent cylinders" was the reply from Don. While always encourageing me he wanted perfection.
After a career in the Air Force, Don went into production pottery for over 30years. Perfection was the key and of course if it wasn't round it wasn't pottery. Don is now 87 and fading with time, he does enjoy seeing my new work. His passion for wheel work inspired me to work hard on my forms. Don and his partner Judith Gledhill had their own studio in Trinity Gardens SA in the 70's and 80's making a living from their work.
He was awarded a Fellowship to the SA Arts Association in 1974 and has exhibited widely. A quote of his in the Guild Potter's of SA booklet is "I don't want to be organized - I just want to be left alone to make pots". I can hear the words coming out of his mouth.
I (not eveyone) always found Don willing to share his knowledge with me once he decided I was serious about pottery. Unfortunately just as I was becoming confident in my ability to take full advantage of his knowlede he retired. He passed on his love for the ceramic world and gave me fantastic grounding in wheel work, kiln loading, glaze making and techinques on which to base my ceramic practice, for which I am eternally grateful. Who knows where it may take me in life's journey.
Till next time