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Imagine is set in the Suffolk village of Long Melford.
This is an attempt to record the daily trials, tribulation and pleasure of running an art gallery.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Good news, bad news.
Yesterday I had a definite confirmation from Ceramic Review magazine that they are publishing my article about the potter Jim Malone in their May/June issue.
This is fantastic news as our exhibition of Jim's pots starts on the last day in May.
Ceramic Review is a magazine with a worldwide circulation, and is certainly the most important magazine devoted to the art within the UK.
So, in theory this should really help to promote the exhibition.

The magazine had asked me if I would do the article as they knew that I had a special interest in Jim's work, but even so it was never a "done deal" as the editor [an author and potter himself] is notorious for being very scathing about work submitted.
Without a doubt my piece is very unusual and is not the sort of thing normally published in a collectors magazine where most writers swallow a dictionary before going to bed each night,
I think that I mentioned before that I agonized over the writing of the article.
It was so important to me I just couldn't write.
As a result it was a very personal piece about the man, not his techniques, clays, glazes etc,etc,
which would be the norm, I just wrote about my feelings for the work and the man.

A very good friend [and potter] who I asked to read the article told me " it is very you, very personal, interesting, but it will never be published".
This didn't surprise me as it wasn't written for potters, but for people with emotions.
So it was with great surprise that I received the news
"the editor loves it and it is going in the May issue".


I was really pleased as we are committing so much to this exhibition, in every aspect.
If after the opening the gallery closed I would have felt that
I had achieved 'one' thing in my life.
Just one big problem, the magazine wants lots of pictures to go with the article,
Although I had photographed lots of Jim's pots the pictures were taken outside his house
on a very cold winters day, late in the evening, with poor light.
As such they weren't really any good.
I called around a few people who I knew had some good professional photographs of his
pots, asking could I use the images [giving them full credit] for the article.

It was funny, almost like being back working in industry.
No, was the general reply [with lots of excuses].
Obviously, although I have my own doubts others think the exhibition may be a success.
So I have spent most of the last two days playing on 'photoshop',
creating backgrounds and trying to make my photographs
acceptable for a magazine to print.

With the results I'm just not sure,
"I can't see the wood for the trees", as they say.
So any comments from you people out there would be really appreciated, good and bad.
I'm a grown boy and I can handle bad news,
although I might sulk for an hour or two afterwards
[A week or two, more like. I can imagine Irene thinking].

Here are half of them, starting with the full page advertisement that I have taken
to go with the article.

Hhmmmmm!  I'm just thinking good thing Jim Malone doesn't have a computer. 


  1. I think those photos are probably the sort you need. Thay are very clear and people will be able to 'read' the pots. Personaly I very much like the picture of the kilns. It gives a real sense of where the pots came from.Looking forward to the exhibition and the article.

  2. I agree w. Margaret that the photos look very good. Congratulations on the article and upcoming exhibition. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy over here in the U.S.

  3. John, I think the photos are first-rate. I'd be happy with them if I was the shooter, the potter or the editor. I especially love the graphics of the title page. Would love to see the show. I'm sure you'll put up some photos on the blog once the show is up.

  4. Thanks Margaret.
    What had been on my mind was that the pictures were too sterile, away
    from the workshop clutter they lost life. But I just wanted to make pictures like I'm used to seeing in magazines.
    I agree with you, I prefer pictures like that of the kiln, they tell a story
    [did you spot the lucky horseshoe]? I have other pictures of pots on racks waiting to be glazed, these I find more interesting so I think I will send them also, just in case.

  5. Ron.
    What can I say? I am honored that you have even looked.
    I will send you a copy when it comes out, I think the circulation will double as I will be buying so many.

  6. Thanks Hollis.
    I was hoping that you would comment as every time I look at your pictures [of pots] they are full of life and seem to have been taken effortlessly, so I had been thinking "if Hollis gives the OK I will stop worrying so much".
    I will be putting photos on the blog but I know that it won't be until after the opening as Jim says that he is leaving the firing until the last week so that he is happy with what he puts in the kiln.
    I hope the firing works, otherwise there will be a lot of wine bottles on display and nothing else.
    Still at least you know where to get some cheap 'seconds'.

  7. The pictures are great for showing the pots. Personally I love a workshop full of stuff photo so definatly send both as both are as important as each other to the story. The kiln shot is great, definatly some pictures of racks and of just the way that it is in Jim's place. I wonder why there are so many "fine arty" type articles in there with as you say their big words, I'm not sure myself but sometimes some of them are a struggle to get through.
    Look forward to reading it.

  8. I know exactly what you mean Hannah, in a way I think that what I have written [they're going to cut it by over a half] would be better with just ordinary pictures telling more about the person, so I am sending them a mixed bag of images .
    Also David Binch of Oakwood Ceramics has helped me out by sending me some pictures.
    In a way I think that I would like to return to Jim's and get some much more personal photographs.
    Still there is little chance of that, it is Saturday night 8.45pm and I am still trying to catch up with Wednesdays mail.
    I'm much better at dreaming about events and leaving the real work to someone [my wife] else.