Paul’s Pottery Background

Paul, a potter born and bred was born into a pottery family, his paternal Grandmother Elizabeth Deakes was a fetler & sponger from an early age and his maternal Grandfather Jack Newbon pictured above on the ladder started at the tender age of 14 as a Saggar Maker’s Bottom Knocker. a Saggar is a fireclay container as you can see carried on top of the head and used to protect the pottery from scorch marks caused by the flames during firing. A Saggar Maker was a skilled man who made the Saggars using his thumb to join the sides neatly to the base of the Saggar. The Saggar Maker’s Bottom Knocker was a young boy whio made the base of the Saggar from a lump of fireclay which he knocked in to a metal shaped ring using a tool called a mawl. Of course theses days bottle kilns are no longer used for firing pottery, what with the clean air act and new technology. When Paul started at Spode he was 16 his first job as a caster was to wash his hands, when he told the manager his hands were clean he continued to ask him to wash his hand, this lad is how you need to work clean hands make for clean work and he has never forgotten that. Paul continues with clean hands, clean tools, clean moulds, clean benches and clean work area, his colleagues always referred to his work bench as like a surgeons table everything clean and in its place.

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