THERE’S a superb photograph of the Bettiscombe potter Tim Hurn in a new book coming out next month. It shows Tim carefully reaching out from the mouth of his kiln for a plankful of pots.
The kiln itself is surrounded by gigantic quantities of wood. Different sorts and different sizes burn in different ways, and at different rates, and this helps to produce the variety of finishes that you see on Tim’s pots. I keep one of his weighty bowls on the windowsill right by me where I type and I love its starry black-brown finish, its randomly pitted caramelisation.
Anyway, I’m not going to reproduce the photograph here because the book it’s in costs £50 and I haven’t got permission to use it BUT there are exclusive extracts from Jasper Conran’s Country, with pictures by Andrew Montomery, on The Daily Telegraph’s website and you can see Mr Hurn by clicking on this link.
“I’m keeping to a tradition of English pottery that’s been going on for generations,” Tim says. “I think there’s a certain romance in the process.”
If you want to see what he means, you could also watch this fiery film, made in the 21st century but suffused with history.