Potter fired up after video goes viral

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Potter Simon Thorborn of Arran Ceramics has received an unprecedented amount of interest in his work since a video of his creation of a Raku bowl went viral on the internet with millions of people viewing it.

The video which was produced by Chris and Jan Attkins of Positive Pictures takes the viewer through the entire process of making the bowl from a lump of clay to the designing and firing, showing every step in the elaborate and time consuming process. The upsurge in publicity surrounding the making of the Japanese style of pottery has seen all of Simon’s Raku pieces being sold with demand now outstripping his ability to create new pieces. He has also been inundated with enquiries from as far afield as the United States and Brazil and has been contacted by other artists wanting to emulate his technique.

Simon said: ‘ I have sold out of all studio Raku pieces and I have closed my online store for the foreseeable future as I am struggling to fulfill orders and keep work on the shelves at my workshop and gallery at Home Farm.’

Simon who has been working as a potter on Arran since 1986, and who has had a pottery and gallery at the Balmichael Visitor Centre and at the old Byre Showroom at Machrie, recently expanded his business to the Home Farm in Brodick where he sells and produces stoneware and ceramics ranging from plates, bowls, jugs and mugs and everything in between, including a kitchen sink.

The demand for his work has meant that the seasonal staff, who are due to start this week, will be kept very busy with helping to run the pottery while an apprentice has also been secured for later this year.

Simon said: ‘ I am astounded with the amount of views that the video has had and I am delighted with the video. I particularly like the fact that other artists in the area, and those that are part of the Arran Art Trail, have received an increase in interest from around the world.’

Simon loads some pottery into his outdoor kiln for firing.
Simon loads some pottery into his outdoor kiln for firing.

Simon loads some pottery into his outdoor kiln for firing. 01_B24simon01

Simon shows off his Raku style vase with some of his other designs visible behind him. 01_B24simon02