Slow Cotswolds

  • The family casserole pot

    Anyone that passes through Hook Norton will discover that they can no longer 'find' Hook Norton Pottery (page 59). The sign for the showroom has been gone for some time. Russell Collins, who founded the pottery in 1969, has, in effect, retired and the pottery showroom no longer exists. However, Russell is still throwing clay around and will make individual pieces to order. If you've not yet bought a piece of 'Hooky' pottery, I really recommend you do while you still can.

    Russell's glazed pots are so very distinctive and are highly collectible. My kitchen shelves and cupboards are filled with his work - I still have (and use regularly) the most beautiful casserole pot that my husband bought me for my 21st birthday (not that he was my husband then but no wonder I married him!). In Russell's distinctive burnt brown-black glaze, it really is a showstopping centrepiece to bring to the table, steaming with hearty beef in beer, soups or lamb hotpot. Whether it's brought out for dinner with friends or a straightforward Sunday evening supper, this casserole pot is a part of the family.

    You can contact Russell to arrange the commission and purchase of pieces through the website for Hook Norton Pottery (www.hooknortonpottery.co.uk), which is still live.

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