My book review of 'By my hands' by Florian Gadsby

by Florian Gadsby
By my hands
by Florian Gadsby

I wasn't familiar with Florian Gadsby's work - though apparently his three collections each year sell out in minutes. But I was interested in the idea of reading about 'A Potter's Apprenticeship'.

In this memoir, Florian shares his discipline and zeal for pottery which has seen him travel the world seeking new skills and techniques. Sharing anecdotes as well as knowledge, this is a beautifully presented, insightful book.

Florian has dedicated his life to pottery and in this book we're taken to those early years (he was born in Norfolk) when that passion was first awakened, along his travels to wherever he felt he could learn more (Japanese ceramics have hugely influenced his work) and the stories behind each pot he's thrown (lessons on life as well as new processes).

The anecdotes and thoughtful storytelling is mesmerising and he urges us to ponder his philosophy and approach to his work.

Producing both functional pottery and sculptural objects, his pieces are refined, simple and carefully crafted.

And this book has been described as 'an ode to the beauty of small things, such as a simple hand-thrown mug or bowl, which can brighten life's daily rituals and make them more meaningful - as well as an inspiring testament to the power of perseverance'.

There's no wonder that he has millions of followers on social media, and this book is a delightfully tactile accompaniment to his online presence. The matt paper, carefully composed photography and dense text all comes together in a brick of a book. There's a lot in here and you won't want to rush it. Stunning! 

Date of this review: September 2023
Book publication date: 14th September 2023