Adopt a Potter Charitable Trust
Newsletter January 2014 from Lisa Hammond - This year has been an interesting year for Adopt a Potter. January last year didn’t start too well with the news of the loss of two Trustees ‒ John Higgins and Graham Jenner ‒ the latter due to work commitments out of the country. Graham was pivotal in helping Adopt a Potter get charitable status and taking care of the accounts and Annual Report for the charities commission ‒ and always the voice of reason. We also in the spring sadly lost Maddy Carragher as she felt she needed to concentrate her energies in 2013 on the recently set up business at Kigbeare Studios and Gallery.
This was also a great blow personally as Maddy has been such a driving force in getting us going and keeping us all focused, doing most of the admin (of which there is a lot!) and helping me in driving the fundraising for AaP, with Maddy devoting so much of her time to come to events to raise money and promote AaP. We are grateful that before they left we recruited three new Trustees and helped them settle in. They are Kevin Millwood, Darren Ellis, and Fleen Doran.
I would like to say I am so grateful to Maddy and Graham, particularly for all their hard work and commitment over the past four years in helping to get AaP on its way and decidedly on its feet. During their term we managed to raise enough money to fund seven placements.
This last year:
New blood brings new skills and enthusiasm. Both Darren and Fleen have recently been apprentices. Darren was my apprentice for two and a half years and Fleen was apprenticed to Micki Schloessingk, and was funded by Adopt a Potter for one year. (Micki then funded Fleen for a further two years to complete her apprenticeship.) I felt it really important to have Trustees with recent experience of being an apprentice, and who were recent graduates from University ‒ to help us get a clearer understanding on what is the current state of pottery education. Darren and Fleen are also both sound young potters with a lot of skills between them ‒ one of them being social network savvy.
This year we have set up Facebook /Twitter and Blog accounts, which are proving very helpful in growing our audience, both in getting us more known to potters and potential apprentices and to potential supporters/donators and funders.
Kevin, our other new Trustee, is another old hand like myself, but works in a slightly different direction to mine. Kevin lives and works in Stoke on Trent and alongside his own practice has many links with designers, industry, and pottery suppliers. During this year Kevin has forged strong links for AaP with the pottery suppliers, particularly Potclays, who have offered to support us by putting on a master class given by Kevin and myself at Potclays in May 2014 with all the proceeds going to AaP. Kevin also brings another helpful head and sounding board for me on perusing other sources of funding, and we hope to put some of those ideas into practice this year.
Last year we were at three events: Earth and Fire /International Ceramics Festival, Aberystwyth, and Ceramics in the City, London. Earth and Fire was the best one to date, raising £1000 ‒ very good considering we are unable to have a raffle or tombola at this show. ICF brought us in excess of £3500, also a record at this event. This year a number of potters associations also generously helped us to raise money at their AGM meetings which has been very helpful and a welcome boost in funds, as unfortunately Art in Clay at Hatfield did not support AaP this year. Nevertheless we appreciate their support in giving us a stand for three years.
Next year we are happy to announce we have been invited back to Earth and Fire, and invited to Art In Action ‒ a new show for us; this is a very large show and we hope it will broaden and grow our audience.
I have also been invited to NCECA in the US to talk about AaP, as American potters seem to be suffering the same fate. We were also included in an article “Where Have All the Potters Gone“ in Ceramics Art and Perception.
This year we had the idea of making Potters Aprons with our Logo on. We had 100 made and I am happy to say we have sold 85 of them so far. We intend to have some more made and advertise them on our website.
This year also sees an unprecedented rise in the number of personal donations from individuals and companies. Thank you! We would love to mention your generosity, with your permission. AaP is to be a beneficiary of £25,000 in Trevor Coldrey’s will. Trevor, who ran the Harlequin Gallery in Greenwich but who is now retired, is still a keen supporter and collector of potters and their pots, and very kindly wishes to help us carry on helping future potters after he has gone.
In January last year we funded two new apprentices: Ceri Shaw with Sasha Wardel and Anastasia Simmons with Jeremy Steward, to add to Pasha Manzarolli, who was starting her second year/part-time apprenticeship with Jonathan Chiswell Jones. Pasha completed her apprenticeship in December 2013. It worked out really well and Jonathan has decided to keep Pasha on to continue her training and employ her. Jonathan has also been very generous in helping raise money for the trust donating a percentage of his takings of a sale he had before Christmas.
It was a good December, as it is looking very likely that Jeremy will also be offering to keep Anna on for another year. I think it also goes to prove that the scheme is working out very successfully for the potter. The Trustees are very pleased with this outcome, as it increases the apprentice’s chances of success as a future potter.
Ceri Shaw, who was with Sasha Wardel, terminated her contract early to have a baby, which is due soon. We send her many congratulations on her exciting news.
The trustees met in November and had five potential candidates to consider. We were able to make three awards: Yasuko Tang started her apprenticeship with Akiko Hirai and Simona Stollo started hers with Mike Godard a few weeks ago. We also awarded Laura Crosland to take up a placement with the Leach Pottery starting in June; this placement was matched funded by the Leach Pottery, giving Laura free accommodation and costs to live in the house on site. We look forward to the blog reports and updates. The Trust has this year decided to have monthly mentoring with the apprentice to monitor their progress.
What we would like to achieve this year
- To recruit two new Trustees; one new Trustee we would like to take up the position of Treasurer.
- To continue to forge links with the CPA
- To find new initiatives to raise funds
- Forging links with overseas potters and associations who wish to set up similar charities.
This year has started well and the Trustees look forward to helping support our current apprentices and potters and continuing to build on our now firm foundations for the charity. You can help us by getting involved in fundraising, becoming a Trustee, donating work, time, or ‒ dare I say it ‒ money!!
Many thanks for reading this.
Best wishes for the coming year. Lisa Hammond, On behalf of the Trustees
Please check in on our website, blog, and FB and Twitter pages from time to time and keep up with how your kind donations are being put to use.