What Gary Fulton wants you to know is that he really does make every one of his ceramic pieces using only one hand. Every part. Clay on the wheel, raising the pot, firing, glazing. He lost the use of his right arm in a motorbike accident in 2003, where he also sustained damage to his nervous system that left him in chronic pain.
A few years ago, Gary attended a pottery workshop. It took a while to master making things, but he was hooked. Now he has a small home studio in Hayle in Cornwall and produces a whole range of ceramics. “I mainly make bowls of various sizes and mugs and cups, but I am constantly evolving so now and again I surprise myself.”
The colours of his surroundings slip into his choice of glazes. “Cornwall definitely influences my colour scheme,” he says. “I am drawn to granites, greens, browns and light blue. These are colours I notice whenever I go for walks around the coast.”
Gary’s next self-issued challenge is to start taking on bigger ceramic pieces - pieces where balance and stability can be a real issue. He is confident he’ll find a way through eventually.
In the meantime, he continues to make pieces that are beautiful and useful. “No two bowls will ever be exactly the same and for me that’s the point.,” he says. “If you are looking for perfection and uniformity you won’t find it here, try Ikea?”
Why they are different
As he says, each piece is unique. We also love the way the bowls, cups and mugs fit into our hands: they’re shaped to be held. Gary’s experiments with glazes create beautiful abstract colour patterns, a blur of the Cornish countryside wrapped around your mug.
Why they are kind
Gary Fulton is an example of rehabilitation in action. He began his pottery journey on a course run by the LandWorks project in Dartington, Devon, a work-based training scheme for current and former prisoners.