Lynne’s passion for handmade pottery

My business creating handmade ceramics is a relatively new one although my love of clay can be traced back to my childhood years. Like many early passions, it was a love that was lost along the way; particularly when I uprooted to London for eleven years. 

It was redundancy that led me and my partner, Tim, back North where I had spent my formative years. We ended up in Glossop – more as a ‘pin in the map’ exercise rather than by design. All we knew was that we wanted a majestic hillside backdrop for our fledging sports massage business, Global Therapies. 

Three years ago, I got the urge to return to pottery. I found the perfect option for local drop-in workshops but my passion was truly ignited when I joined a six-day residential course in the Lake District. I came home absolutely buzzing! Soon, I started to first gift, and then sell, pottery to friends. In 2019, I decided to make the leap to a more commercial venture. The Derbyshire Open Arts Festival in 2020 was going to signal my arrival. Of course, then Covid happened…

I’ve had to consider how to adapt my business in the meantime. My plans to launch a collection of wedding favours and centrepieces may be on hold until celebrations as we once knew them can resume. But small clay coasters that carry a certain mantra (my own says ‘Courage. Confidence. Presence)’ are the perfect gifts for those from whom we’re kept apart. 

Similarly, I might not be able to meet clients in person to capture their requirements for a commission, but lockdown has generated its own interesting ideas. I’ve launched an online gift experience of live sessions whereby I and a student sit down together on Zoom, and where I create and decorate an item according to their direction. 

There is one constant that remains in my business. That of connection. I’m not a potter who mass produces the same item day in, day out. I don’t use guides but choose to make unique pieces that are ‘perfectly imperfect’, in the Wabi Sabi sense of being. Clay comes from the earth and can be ground up and returned there one day (or better still, re-purposed for something else like jewellery). It’s a material that should be given the utmost respect. I treat the clay with the same delicate sense and intuition as I would sports massage. The finished product is the perfect alchemy of the clay itself, how it responds to the temperature that day, and the different tools I use to guide its design. Shells, twigs, driftwood and pressed leaves are all on hand for me to apply marks and patterns, and cockle shells to carve out the clay.

My pieces have real meaning for my clients. In fact, one example relates to fellow Communicate with Purpose friend, Katie Sheen, who asked for three beakers – each uniquely designed – so that she and her sons could share in a regular over-the-miles brew.

Interestingly, my wares can also resonate with perfect strangers. My 100-day project involved making a drinking vessel every day, and marking each with the date. The project received attention online and I was approached by a lady who asked if she could purchase the vessel I made on a particular date, such was its personal significance to her. 

I love that I can convey such feeling and meaning through my handmade pottery. 

lynne taylor potter

I recieved some beautiful and unique serving dishes as a birthday gift and I couldn’t be happier. They are so lovely and I will treasure them. The Flower frogs also look ace and may well be my next purchase!” Faye Parker

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