The turning point in life is realising that it is ‘not worth spending your life doing something you can’t enjoy.’
Having grown up in Lesotho, South Africa after her two British, trained potter parents moved there to run a pottery studio for 10 years before Sarah was born, she spent her childhood until the age of 17 in South Africa. With wonderful early memories of playing in the grounds of the pottery studio, surrounded by people working with clay every day (that she ensures me the workers must think less fondly on than she as her and her sister spent their days pestering and getting in the way while they made beautiful things!) her childhood was filled with creativity.
When Sarah grew up (or at least tried! as she likes to say), she began working as a Design Technology teacher in Blackburn. While Sarah loved teaching the kids, she found the bureaucracy of the job was stifling both their creativity and her own. With the arrival of her own child these feelings were amplified and Sarah found herself realising there is no point spending your life doing something you don’t enjoy. This is such a crucial point to become aware of, that moment when you realise there is no point going through life unhappy. We give up so much of our time to work; it’s a necessity so most of us just do what we have to do. We spend most of our week traveling to, and being at work; leaving our partners, our kids, our friends and family to be at work. While working is a necessity for most of us that doesn’t mean that we should be giving up such a large part of our lives to spend every day hating our jobs, unhappy and stressed. By finding your place and your passion, you’re no longer sacrificing every day. You go to work for yourself, not for necessity- because you love what you do, not just because of the money. Of course financial stability is vital and does have to be taken into consideration, but we also have to remember it’s not all about making the most money. Find your passion and find a way to do what you love. Whether that’s working for yourself or working for someone else, there’s always a way of finding your passion and working in something you enjoy.
When Sarah had this realisation, she approached her parents to explain how much she was struggling in this system that did not put the kids first. Sarah’s dad, Graham Taylor (As seen in the first series of the BBC Great British Throw Down and other TV programs) runs the very successful ceramic replica business: Potted History. As Sarah explained her concerns, she joked about becoming her father’s apprentice. He needed the help due to the success of the business and Sarah needed a new job, she quit teaching and never looked back having made what Sarah refers to as the ‘best decision EVER!’
Sarah left her job, moved the family to Northumberland and began learning everything she could from her dad. By joining her father and learning his skills, Sarah was able to add the pottery classes that Graham had always wanted to be able to offer to the business. Now responsible for creating some replicas sold in museums, shops and private individuals across the world and running the workshops, Sarah’s clearly come such a long way.
The most incredible part of Sarah’s work is her approach to the workshops. They do not run classes on a strict curriculum of teaching the way many classes do, but focus on the freedom to create. After teaching the basic skills of hand building and wheel throwing, they then work individually with the students to help them produce something they can be personally proud of. Sarah explained to me that this way of teaching requires far more work for the studio, as projects can range so vastly. Her example: that projects could range from ‘a tea set for a teddy bears picnic, to a memorial plaque for a loved one lost, to a green man water fountain’ shows there really are no limits. At Rothbury Creates, it’s clear they place the importance on their customers and their individual needs. The concept that someone who has never made ceramics before can go learn the basics and make something so personal to them is wonderful. Imagine wanting a bespoke memorial plaque for a lost loved one, that rather than commissioning to have done by another creative individual or mass company, you made it with your very own hands.
They have such a wonderful outlook on creativity at Rothbury creates, truly believing that everyone can create when given the freedom and encouragement for ‘pure creativity’. Sarah says ‘We love people of all ages in the workshop, it is brilliant to have a family were 3 generations can all sit around a table and all create together. Playing with clay really is fun for all ages.’
If you’d like more information about this wonderfully creative and passionate ceramics company then check out their website https://rothburycreates.co.uk/ or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RothburyCreates/