I had been offered a place to attend the master class “Give and Take” with Jacqueline Poncelet at Northlands when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the weeks before the class started I had an operation to remove both the lump and the lymph nodes on one side. I was due to travel to Glasgow and start chemotherapy as soon as the master class ended. Being at Northlands was a great distraction! Some of the pieces I made ‘Happy Cells’ and ‘Cushion for Dave’, (my confidante Dave the bear) were definitely a bit of art therapy.
The days raced by and it was uncannily like being at home, working late to ‘get the kiln on’. But the difference was the freedom to experiment and the gentle encouragement to do so, to see where things led rather than being driven by saleability. It was inspiring to be around other artists and to gather ideas and inspiration and best practice allowing a new perspective to develop and new work to emerge. We experimented with shape and colour to completely change the nature of a piece. We did lots of experiments with moulds, finishes, paints, decals and sand casting. I loved my time at Northlands. The accommodation at a family b and b was superb. The evening meals in adjacent villages were fun. We went on trips to some stunning local sites and were free to explore locally. Caithness was wild and beautiful, and the set up at Northlands is vibrant and supportive. I was almost ready for the chemo…………….