“Very beautiful, wonderful exhibition.”
Marking 25 years – Barely Scratching the Surface
During August 2013 Paul exhibited his new stoneware work, including the wonderful crystal glazed pieces and his multi-textured golded pots. The exhibition marked Paul’s first 25 years of making at The Meadows Pottery.
The exhibition ran from 2nd – 25rd August 2013
Paul Tebble, Potter – Exhibition Notes
25 years at The Meadows Pottery and Barely Scratching the Surface
I established The Meadows Pottery in Edinburgh in 1988. I produce diverse, hand thrown, stoneware and porcelain, making traditional pottery and art pieces. This has been virtually my sole outlet for the past twenty-five years, supplying a mainly local market. I was joined here by my partner Junko Shibe in the early 1990’s. I have worked beside her ever since. I have had no formal training or apprenticeship in ceramics or pottery, but I learned pottery from the age of thirteen from an assortment of individual potters, loosely within the Leach tradition. I learned, travelled and practiced for twelve years before starting to trade at the age of twenty-six. I have never exhibited to any significant extent.
From my early exposure to the great ceramic collection of the Royal Scottish Museum I understood the diversity and depth of our ceramic inheritance. But my professional, technical and creative development has taken place in a threefold context. Firstly: working and relating closely with my customers at The Meadows Pottery, with the twin disciplines of making pieces for stock and to order. Secondly: my friendships and collaborations with other artists in pottery (particularly Junko) and diverse other fields (be it the written word, music or the visual arts). Thirdly: teaching small groups of motivated and enthusiastic students; a pleasure and an education in itself.
From childhood, time spent on the seashores and mountains of Scotland has proved to be continually relevant to my work. My partnership with Junko Shibe, has led to Japanese culture, pottery and life being a significant influence on me. This has been given an edge recently with my developing professional friendship with Chiyoichi Shimizu, an 8th generation potter from Tamba, Japan.
For me, today, the humanity and the easily accessible, natural quality of the pottery making process, alongside the geological longevity of any finished piece still fires me up. I feel a gleeful awe in the face of the myriad potters of the past 20,000 years, their extraordinary range of work and, over arching it all, the truly global nature of this ongoing history. Within this context I believe any significant body of work can be diverse, innovative and fascinating. But the work is always ultimately for the person who is using it, viewing it. It is above all, to warm the heart, intrigue, nourish the user/viewer. That is the pin-sharp, quiet place, which is paramount.
Pottery is deep in our history, something people have an innate feel for, and to be able to make pots that people may cherish and enjoy is a privilege.
I hope you enjoy the exhibition!
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