Tamsin Arrowsmith Brown - Helen Beard 2015

I am extremely happy to be writing my first blog post for Adopt A Potter!
I have not had a traditional route to becoming a potter. Despite loving art subjects, when I left school I decided to study for an academic degree in Social Anthropology. When I left university I realised that I needed to find a career with a visual element, so I began working for interior and graphic design agencies, first as a studio assistant and then as a project manager. 
All the while in my spare time I was making and attended evening classes in many crafts including embroidery, woodwork and printmaking. I then began an evening class in ceramics and that was it! I realised that I wanted to become a maker full time. 
I was lucky enough to meet Helen and began to use her studio in the evenings and weekends and we began to discuss the possibility of an apprenticeship, though I wasn't certain how I would afford it. The next piece of luck was a discussion about this problem with a classmate at my evening class who directed me towards Adopt-A-Potter, so Helen and I prepared an application, sent it off and hoped. 
In the meantime I made the decision that I needed to take the plunge and gave up my job, planning to work in the studio as much as possible but unsure of how I was going to make ends meet. Which was when we received the wonderful news that I had been awarded the grant! it has meant that I am going to be able to work full-time in the studio, accelerating my learning and development, increasing my usefulness to Helen and hopefully allowing me to generate some income as a potter much faster.
Like Helen I work mostly in porcelain. I am interested in making beautiful functional pieces that people will treasure and use for years. I hand paint my pieces, often with patterns inspired by textiles and embroidery. I am also experimenting with combining my linoprint work with ceramics.
We have just had open studios at Craft Central in Clerkenwell, where Helen is based, and I was able to show and sell some of my work for the first time! It was lovely to hear people say good things about my progress so far and it's given me lots of ideas for where to go next!
My apprenticeship will start formally in January and knowing how much I have learned from Helen in a very short space of time I am very excited about the year ahead!

I have included a picture of me and Helen on the roof at our studios (me on the right, Helen on the left) and also some of my latest pots.

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