Old Bridge Road, Bloxham, Oxfordshire, OX15 4LY, England
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grahamphotomono1bFrom the maker: Graham Mant, Potter

I believe that whatever we do in life we should try and make it pleasurable, particularly everyday things, and so I create what, I hope, are practical pots that are also a pleasure to look at and to use; even to wash: Pots of Pleasure and Purpose.

I became fascinated with pottery when very young, watching the famous intermission on the television. Magic! Over the years family, career and latterly my own business took precedence, until 1996. Having lost my business and home in the 1992 recession and still feeling in the doldrums, I joined a pottery evening class at North Oxford College of Art. With my somewhat unhelpful engineering training and with little knowledge of art and other such esoteric subjects, I started throwing clay; which my hands seemed to manage quite well with little input from my brain. Having set clay to wheel I was hooked!

Following some years at pottery evening class in Banbury, I then qualified in Ceramics and Design at Oxford CFE. Otherwise I am largely self taught, although I have had the privilege of working with several master potters, and now have my own pottery.

I just love all the challenges that clay has to offer, creating a workable clay mix; raising the lump of clay on the wheel head to the desired height; coaxing it into the desired shape, and calming it when it wants to fight back. Glazing is a whole world of it's own: of colour and texture, chemistry and cookery, minerals and metals… and bonfire ash. Then the firing; a mixture of temperature and time, alchemy and luck! Long hours driving the kiln up to white heat, balancing gas and air in a manner that pleases the 'kiln' gods,' and later, impatiently waiting for the kiln to cool. Finally, the moment of truth: the kiln opening! Sometimes Wow!, sometimes Hmmm, sometimes a feeling of quiet satisfaction.

So much fun and always so much more to discover.