Margaret Milne, my first teacher and mentor, sadly passed away.
Margaret is responsible for starting me on the path I have taken. Ross Skiffington and I went to her night school class in 1966 at Tamaki College. We were soon invited to come and put clay through her pug mill for the class and had our first coffee out of hand crafted pottery mugs. From my "get yourself a trade" working class background, it was my first insight into an alternative lifestyle. She used hand weaving and studio pottery in her everyday life, while we ate off the ubiquitous Crown Lynn dinner set. She had a grand piano.
There are so many memories.
Introducing Grant Hudson and I to the Perrins, we were covered in diesel and soot after trying to unsuccessfully natural draft fire our new kiln.
The holiday cottage in Kati Kati and Guy and Jocelyn Mountain
The stories and slides and the real pots from Japan
Discovering she had actually touched Bernard Leach AND Hamada AND Kawai
The vicious Auckland vs. Wellington rivalry of the early NZ Society of Potters politics
The rocking bamboo water feature in her garden, only turned on for national living treasures
Waiting all night for the big new electric kiln, above Leon Cohen's Seaboard Joinery lunchroom, to very slowly get to 1060°C
The Twelve Potters, NZ's first co-op
The hidden cottage in Remuera, which became a highly creative atelier refuge
The long-drop there, made from one of Chester Nealie's fibrolite exhibition units
The huge kiln
The assorted seagulls with wounded wings in convalescent mode
The fury at neighbours with chainsaws attacking her beloved trees
Her sense of humour
Her wide range of work
I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Margaret.