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mick casson- england

updated wed 13 may 98


Clennell on sun 10 may 98

From: Bill Amsterlaw
To: "'Clennell, Tony'"
Subject: Mick Casson
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 13:21:42 -0400
Encoding: 22 TEXT

Hi Tony:

You recently referred to your past experience working with Mick Casson.
All I know about Casson is that he has a crooked nose and makes great
pots. The few photographs of his work that I have seen are hard to forget.
For example, there is a photo of a Casson pitcher in Hamer's textbook
(plate 50) that I think is dynamite. I would like to know more. I wonder
if you would share some information about him. (If you would prefer to
respond to Clayart rather than privately, that would be ok by me.)

* Who did he study with?
* What potters does Casson most admire?
* Where can one see examples of his work?
* Does he give workshops?
* Does he take apprentices? teach in a university?
* What is he like?


- Bill Amsterlaw (
Plattsburgh, NY

Dear Bill:
It has been 15 years since I was in England at Mick and Sheilas. As for
potters he admires I just read an article in which he talked with
admiration of watching Americas Jeff Oestrich make pots.
Micks pots would be available in London at "The Craftsmans Potter Shop". A
jug would probably be in the range of a couple hundred pounds ($2 Cdn to a
pound). Starting prices in the hundreds and up to low thousands would be
my guess.
He has a historic building in which Sheila and he have other craftspeople
working and in the summer they offer a summer course. 4 weeks long I think?
Mick and Sheila Casson,
Wobage Farm,
Upton Bishop,
Ross on Wye, Herefordshire,

This man is not only a good potter but a great teacher. The short time I
spent there changed my potting life. He is full of stories of English
pottery legends
with which he has rubbed shoulders in his 50 years of pot making.
If you want to be drowned in an ocean of pots I can see no better way to go
than to cross the puddle and strand yourself at Wobage Farm for a month.
You will come home exhausted and your attitude towards pots will be
definitely affected.
He has been a force in my life.
Hope this helps answer some questions.
I am slightly biased but I give the Wobage Farm summer school program a 5
star rating.

Tony and Sheila Clennell
Box 10 RR# 2
Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
phone (519) 534-2935
fax (519) 534-0602

MR TREVOR J HERCEG on mon 11 may 98

Dear bill and other clayarters,

i read your message about mic casson and thought that i would also
reply. i spent all of last year living in england completing the
english equivalent of an MFA at wolverhampton university. mic was one
of several people that the school setup meetings with for me. let me
say this he is one of the most wonderful potters i have ever met. The
first time i met him, me and some friends went to his studio in
glouchestershire. he took us all over his studio. showed us kilns and
discussed ideas and philosophies. then about two months later he
called me at school and asked if i wanted to participate in a
workshop on salt and soda firing that the craft potters association
was putting on and that i should bring some pots for him to see. at
the end of the first day he spent probably a good hour or more
talking about my work with me as others like phil rodgers, and jack
doherty joined in. mic has this energy that you just can't help but
feel inspired when you are around him. he is unassuming, open minded
and so interested in what everyone is doing and when he is with
people he gives you his undivided attention. he became a major
influence for me in my work. when he talks about ceramics he gets
this glint in his eyes. all wide eye excited, he can't wait to hear
your input to what he has said and he wants you to speak. i don't
know how else to describe him.... the funny thing about that meeting
was that one of the other students said to me later "do you realize
that the most respected potter in england liked your work." funny she
looked at him as if he was a god and to speak with him you would see
that he doesn't place himself on any pedestals or act elitist in any
way. he is a peoples potter and i will remember him for his kindness
and openness. and he never changed the other times we got to meet up
later was no different he had that same energy and openness. I went
to visit him the day before i left england to say thanks for all he
had done and give him one of the original pots that he liked and he
then gave me one of his pitchers in trade... as i said he is probably
one of the nicest people i have ever meet... i hope that others who
have met him have had similar experiences..

trevor herceg

Rick Sherman on mon 11 may 98

I enjoyed the comments about Mick Casson. I had the luck to be with him
in a workshop at Big Creek Pottery for a month. He is an inspriring
teacher with, as Tony Clennel state, wonderful stories to tell of the
potters in England. One reaction all the students had when they first
met him was that he was short. His picture on the dust jacket of
Hamer's dictionary makes him look like a giant. He and his students
would joke about the misconception. Mick would demonstrate thowing and
be splashing water on the pot as he developed the form. His standard
line was, "I mustn't use so much water!" And then he did.
There are a lot of great stories about that time.

Rick Sherman
San Jose, CA USofA

Craig Martell on tue 12 may 98

At 04:03 PM 5/11/98 EDT, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>as i said he is probably
>one of the nicest people i have ever meet... i hope that others who
>have met him have had similar experiences..


I couldn't agree more. I visited Mick in March at Wobage Farm and really
enjoyed talking with him. He took a great deal of time to show us about and
talk about pots and kilns and anything else that came up. I've always
admired Mick's work and was able to buy a great salt glazed jug. Mick is a
wonderful person and I'm really glad I had the chance to meet him. He
looked to be in good health, and was full of energy. He was also anxiously
awaiting the birth of another grandchild which was due at any minute!

regards, Craig Martell-Oregon