Deirdre and Amy go potty for craft month

A Derry potter has opened up the doors of her workshop at the Cathedral Quarter to allow local people to try the art of pottery.

Deirdre O’Callaghan who has run DocPot in the city for the past 14 years ran the first ‘Make my Monday’ workshop this week as part of Craft Development Month run by Derry City Council.

POTTERY WORKSHOP. . . . .Young Amy Hutcheon getting instruction from Deirdre O'Callaghan, Docpot, during a pottery workshop at the Pump Street premises on Monday afternoon. DER3214MC001

POTTERY WORKSHOP. . . . .Young Amy Hutcheon getting instruction from Deirdre O'Callaghan, Docpot, during a pottery workshop at the Pump Street premises on Monday afternoon. DER3214MC001

Local people were invited to come in for a drop-in session to create some pottery and experience throwing a pot on the wheel.

One of the people to take part was 10 years-old Amy Hutcheon, a pupil at Nazareth House Primary School.

Amy was allowed to shape and make her own pot which she will be able to come and collect as a souvenir in a few weeks time.

For Deirdre, the event was a chance to share her love of arts and crafts.

“I’ve been here almost 15 years,” she said.

“And there are lots of different things that we do.

“At the moment I’m working on a set of mugs that are being sent to Australia. I also have some tiles that have been ordered for a house in Holland. So the stuff really does go round the world.”

Deirdre is a graduate of ceramics and did her apprenticeship in Kilkenny, which was all based on the pottery wheel.

“I had always wanted to do art and I kind of stumbled into pottery,” said Deirdre. “I suppose I have always been more of a 3d artist.

“It is a labour of love and you have to work hard to establish yourself.”

But Deirdre’s work is clearly in demand.

She regularly creates one off pieces for wedding presents and this year she was asked to make the Clipper awards.

And last year she made the mugs for the City of Culture which, she says, people still ask for.

“I like that every piece that we do is unique,” said Deirdre.

“I can sit and make 30 mugs in the one go but they are all made uniquely.

“And everything is hand decorated and glazed.”

Deirdre’s studio is full self sufficient and complete with the kiln and wheel

“I wanted to allow people to come in here and experience what it is like themselves.

“I did this workshop once before in the Craft Village at the Thatch.

“But this time because it is in here in my own studio it means I don’t have to move the wheel.

“And I have had a lot of people interested.

“You’d be surprised at the people that come in looking to have a go, especially a lot of men.

“And it special for everyone to have something that you made.

“Every year craft month gets bigger and better and this year there is so much promotion and a real hunger for craft.

Amy, who tried out the wheel said : “It was good but the clay elt very squishy.

“It was hard to get control of the wheel but Deirdre helped me and eventually I got used to it.

“I liked doing the pottery and would like to do more in the future because I enjoy doing crafts.

For more info log on to www.docpot.com