Finding a place

 Jack Doherty's beautiful porcelain.

Jack Doherty's beautiful porcelain.

My daughter and I stole two sunny, blustery and blue sky days together in St Ives in September last year, just before she went back to university.  The extraordinary potter, Jack Doherty, was showing his work in hidden chapels and places of refuge for fisherman all over this little Cornish town. We made a pilgrimage to all of them, to see his soda-fired porcelain Blessing Cups and Keeper Pots, all uniquely different, but similar, lined up in rows on stone windowsills or set on simple wooden boards suspended on trestles. They took my breath away, and my biggest regret is that I didn't buy one - I couldn't choose and I let that put me off - I am still cross with myself. The ones I saw were magical; they look as if they have been dug out of the earth; splashed with the sea and hurled through the sky.  They are both ancient and contemporary and I wonder at his ability and skill to produce such amazing work. It helped me to understand that the singular, stand alone importance of a hand-made vessel, whatever it's colour, shape or size, is a thing of beauty. It carries the touch, integrity and handprint of its maker and is always a place to keep something precious ... or ordinary ... or just a place to keep.

www.dohertyporcelain.com