For over 20 years Potted History has been creating ceramic replicas that span the Palaeolithic to the medieval and beyond.
By hand crafting replicas for museums across the UK, and abroad, using techniques that replicate the tools and techniques of our ancestors we aim to capture an authenticity that is not just surface deep. Every step of production from clay preparation, to tool manufacture and the construction of the final vessel is carefully considered and carried out in our Northumberland Studio. The aim is to craft vessels that not only look like the originals, but also feel and function like the originals. But now we feel it s time to share our wealth of skill and knowledge with you. From techniques to tools, and even our secret recipes, we want the knowledge of our ancestors to live on.
How We Work
From our studio located in the beautiful historic town of Rothbury, Northumberland, we work with large institutions, production companies and individuals to create replicas that are as close to the originals as we can get. The process can involve recreating an entire tool kit before we even get our hands on the clay, but, this time we dedicated to getting it right ensures an authenticity of look and feel that is so important to us.
We believe in authenticity, education and creating hands on history
Master Potter, Graham
When I handle an ancient pot it is a little like shaking hands with the original potter. A handshake across thousands of years! I can feel the impressions made by their thumbs, the pressure of their fingers pushing the wet clay into the palm of the hand to swell out the belly of the pot, the sweep of a tool to decorate the surface. All these movements are like frozen, or possibly more correctly, fired moments in time, preserved and waiting for me to decode. When I come to emulate their actions and re-create one of these prehistoric masterpieces, I get to know the potter a little better. A conversation takes place … “Oh I see why you did that” ….”What did you use to make that mark?”.........”Now that’s clever, decorating it like that”. The conversation may seem a little one sided, but the answers come back to me from the clay. Above all the act of making a piece gives me a deep sense of respect for a fellow craftsperson.
The Next Generation, Sarah
As Graham’s daughter I was brought up around clay. For many years my parents ran a pottery in Kolonyama, Lesotho, and I had the privilege of being able watch and learn from the some of the most skilled crafts people, and if I was very lucky they sometimes let me help. This generosity shown to curious little girl helped inspire in me a real love for clay as a medium. There is something deeply satisfying about taking clay, which is essentially mud, and transforming it into something beautiful in the same way our ancestors have been doing for thousands of years. It makes me proud to know that not only am I keeping up the family tradition of pottery, but I am also representing our ancestors by recreating some of their finest work. Just as I love to see the fingerprint of a potter from thousands of years ago impressed into the clay, I too will leave my fingerprints for future generations.
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