Thanks so much for your lovely messages, it's always great to hear from you.
I've just finished reading ceramacist Edmund de Waal's latest book The White Road a pilgrimage of sorts, one of my pile of Christmas books. The book spans a thousand years to present the history of porcelain, journeying from Jingdezhen in China, through Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina to the hills of Cornwall.
I have tried to trace my family tree and found that the book gave me the same excitement as different people and places were revealed set against their historical time as the race was on to find the secret of making porcelain in Europe, successfully achieved 200 years before in China.
Set against this history, Edmund de Waal gives us an insight into his own life and beginnings as a potter from the age of 5 when he went to his father's pottery evening class with him through to his recent installation at the V&A and exhibitions in Cambridge and New York.
He visits the four white hills around the world where the ingredients for the first porcelains were found and collects five significant porcelain objects to display at the exhibition but he also introduces us to the real cost in human terms of producing the special, prized porcelain.
I did enjoy the book, it was just my (porcelain) cup of tea.