Jackie Duncan

Jacky Duncan, Closewood Farm, Winsham.

I am a potter and smallholder, each activity, hopefully, balancing the other.

My pottery is a small "one man" business, making use of the old stone and cobble farm buildings. I make plant pots of all shapes and sizes, specialising in large terrace pots. The clay is dug locally and mixed in an old bakers' dough mixer; the pots are then fired in a wood burning kiln, utilising waste wood from a local sawmill. I also make traditional mugs, jugs and bowls, slip decorated with designs based on the animals and poultry around the holding.

I have a small pedigree herd of South Devon beef cattle, which I graze on my own land and local grass lets. I cannot compete with beef production on a large farm scale, but by selling animals for breeding, and naturally produced beef to individual customers, I make the most of a small scale operation.

Pressure of work with both activities is seasonal, the pottery being busier during the Spring and Summer months when the animals are at grass, the cattle demanding more attention while housed in Winter, when the pottery is quieter. 

Both activities are very satisfying, whether making pots from locally sourced materials, or breeding and feeding the cattle on home grown rations. In an age of globalization this may seem old-fashioned, but it still works.

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This page revised 01 May 2009