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I have always been interested in the history of ceramics – why and how ‘things’ are made of clay. This interest was extended after I spent several years travelling through Africa working with various tribes and village potters and being intrigued how, with limited technology and basic tools, they were able to get such exquisite, beautiful surfaces. I found the same inherent skills in India, Nepal Japan and New Mexico. I tried to adopt the ideas picked up from my travels in my own work. By building up layers of textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces, I try to achieve opposites of rough and smooth.
Feltham’s Farm is 22 acres of organic land in the north of Somerset’s beautiful Blackmore Vale. It is run by Marcus Fergusson and Penny Nagle, who moved here six years ago. There are always people around, as our cheese business employs between two and four people while living on site there are up to four international volunteers at any time. This is a community of people interested in good food, sourced both locally and organically.The farm is great for children – Marcus and Penny have three of their own aged 13, 11 and 8, so there are trampolines, swings, tree houses and Tarzan swings. Animals are very much part of our lives: we have pigs (and sometimes very cute piglets); sheep (and lambs); ducks; chickens; quail; and peacocks. Children are always welcome to join in the feeding times in the morning and early evening, and we’re happy to talk about the animals and how important it is to connect to nature.
Andy & James have been hobby charcutiers for several years. Andy grew up on a pig farm and James is a member of a small village cooperative of 6 families who raise livestock. Their daughters become best friends at the local school and it wasn’t long before they discovered that they shared passion for curing meats and making salami.