It is a very inclusive department; we all get on extremely well.
I struggle a lot with mobility problems; I have spondylosis in my spine and arthritis in all my joints. If I’m carrying something, someone’s going to say, “Can I give you a hand?”. It’s very supportive.
I tend to specialise in ceramics because it’s easier for the dexterity that I have with my hands. It enables me to make all sorts. I did struggle a bit with the glass blowing because of the weigh of the irons, but I can still have a go on good days, and I’m supported to do that. There isn’t anything in this department where they’ll say, “You can’t do that” – they’ll find a way to help.
There is always someone to talk to – I have made some very good friends over the last four years. I’ve seen quite a few youngsters come through from other countries and they’re feeling a bit homesick, but a nice conversation with someone is all that is needed sometimes.
I found out two years ago that I have dyspraxia and it’s given me a reason for why I do things and why I’m so creative. I never had a huge amount of faith in my own work and what my capabilities were, but I can now see that I do have a talent and I can use it and make some really good stuff. And if it’s not quite right, there’s always someone there to give advice on how you can make it better.
It’s been a fantastic adventure, a fantastic journey and I would recommend it to anyone. Being a creative takes away some of the problems that you find in life, you can lose yourself in a lump of clay for a little while and make something beautiful out of it.”
Published 8 February 2022