Jim the pot

These pots are made by a friend “Jim The Pot“. He throws more pots than any other potter I know and that repetition leads to great skill and a lovely feeling of freedom and life in the work. He is not known amongst the pottery world or craft world though because he doesn’t do craft fairs or potfests.  Jim specialises in making replica work for museums and re-enactors.

 This is Jim’s beer money, the little earthenware pots are watering sprinklers and no one can resist one after seeing them demonstrated, I think he sells them for £4 so it’s pocket money but he makes them very very fast and those £4 add up.

 The beauty of selling to re-enactors is they use the work, and use it hard so you see it age and learn more about how the originals lived. I have never cooked over an open fire in a pot but it is the way most of our ancestors cooked most of the time.

 These guys on the left look like salt glaze stoneware but Jim fires them with bracken, apparently there is something in the bracken that gives a similar effect to the salt.

 This is his display when out at shows, see the hand spun wheel at the front, he throws on this faster than most potters would on an electric wheel.

Jim learned on an incredible sounding course at Derby College, same tutor as Doug Fitch and Geoff Fuller, Nic Collins and many more. Apparently the first week they were shown 40 lumps of clay and told to make 40 things identical. Didn’t matter what, bowls dishes, plates, just 40 the same.  Within 3 weeks 1/3 of the class had left, they presumably wanted to be arty sculptural ceramicists but those that stayed developed the skills and understanding of materials they needed to make the things they wanted to make. I am sorry not to remember the tutors name he was clearly an inspiring guy.

To buy Jim’s very reasonably priced pots see his website here 

5 Responses to Jim the pot

  1. Louise July 6, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I love Jim´s work and have a couple of his things. We use them when we go on markets with our medieval group and thet have been with us for many years. He is the potter that make the closest to perfect replica of the medieval pottery and his prizes are really great.

  2. Robin Wood July 6, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    Jim's work is great and the fact he throws so many means the throwing marks are similar to the originals which were produced on a vast scale by serious production potters. John Hudson has probably handled more original medieval pots and also makes very good replicas. I don't like to say one potter is the best, we are lucky to have them all.

  3. jdware July 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Beautiful, honest work – "the unknown craftsman" now known! Working with the hard limitations of time and price, can certainly be freeing. It's challenge I sometimes wrestle with in my own craft – do I need to make everything "perfect" just because I can?sorry to double post, but I didn't realize I was also "unknown"

  4. Survival in the Wasteland July 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    making 40 identical things…. that tutor knew what he was doing… lovely post robin

  5. Graeme December 1, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Bracken is high in silica, that might be the mystery ingredient.
    We get lazy with cheap electric energy, hand operating anything would encourage efficient use of the human energy put in. I would expect that the same applies to bowl turning, I bet you maximise the cut with each push on the treadle Robin.