There is something about creating art that takes you back to childhood and there is joy in that. For me, a whole lifetime elapsed between making things out of clay as a child and making things out of clay as an adult. As a parent myself, I remember the blobby but beautiful pots that made their way home from primary school, covered in a patchy glazes and proudly carried by hot little hands. Because these pots were made by my own children I loved and adored them, but when I first started working with clay again it was hard not to ricochet critically back to imagining my pots were not a lot better than the ones I also made at school. My wonderful friends and family helped me out here - they encouraged me madly (although not always honestly when I look back at some of the very early bowls I made!) But what are friends for? And then the clay became my friend too. I started to 'feel' it, to understand where it wanted to go and to respect it. To know how much pressure it could take when I was working on it, to know when to stop, when to give up completely or risk losing the piece, when to press on regardless and when to come back to it. Friendships take work and the clay is no different; we spend a lot of time together and our friendship has grown. It is about a 'knowing', something you can't really put into words, but it is precious - as all my friendships are - to me.