Tuesday 16 January 2018

Potter Pearce is still throwing a few shapes

Does it ever strike you that the only ones enjoying themselves these days are the artists?

Stephen Pearce, the 70-year-old enfant terrible of Irish pottery, is still throwing shapes. In clay, I mean. The good news is he still throwing parties, too. Well, he has plenty to celebrate.

Next week, he will open the doors of his new premises in Enniskerry village. When I caught up with him in Shanagarry, Co Cork, last week, he had just taken delivery of the signage.

And just to show what an iconoclast he is, Stephen will be reintroducing his cornflower blue range.

"When I launched it 27 years ago," he said, adding with a laugh, "very few people liked it. Better luck this time."

He recalled that, when on his first appearance on the Late Late in 1985, he said, "I don't feel like a shopkeeper", Gay had responded in a thoughtful way with, "But I suppose in the end only you will take proper care of your work in a shop."

Stephen added: "Now here I am opening a small shop in Enniskerry in the middle of May."

He has just returned from two months in Italy, where he was writing the story of his own and his father's pottery from 1953-2012. Pottery, poetry... same difference, really.

Shapes were thrown -- but not the clay ones -- at a top-secret bash in Finnegan's pub in Dalkey last Saturday. The Simon Carmody Community in secret -- I think that's piling paradox on top of oxymoron. There was Bono of course -- well, he is the team leader -- Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson, Guggi, Gavin Friday and hotelier and next-door neighbour to Bono, Louis Murray.

It was a late one, with sore heads, by all accounts, with one well-known person losing their mobile phone because they let it fall into the pond. But hey -- none of them revealed feet of clay.

Guggi was in Ronan Ryan's new restaurant, Bite, on South Frederick Street last weekend with designer Michael Mortell and Michael's girlfriend Oonagh Finn, designer Louise Kennedy and actor Liam Cunningham.

Guggi had just come from celebrating the life and times of Ireland's Louis Le Brocquy after the great artist's funeral on Saturday.

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