J Kay Aplin – Architectural Ceramics
Andrew Appleby is a master of his craft and founded the Fursbreck Pottery in the Orkney Isles over 33 years ago. A high production thrower, he has a unique understanding and appreciation of historic and prehistoric pottery techniques; having also worked as an archaeologist. He has been developing the understanding of clay and its uses through experimental research programs for many years.
Born 1948 in Kent, Andrew Appleby became an independent wanderer from a very early age. The youngest of three brothers, he constantly lagged behind – and still does, even now, on a walk – finding clay in banks and around ponds, or searching the ground for ancient artifacts. His natural tendency towards incendiary pursuits helped fire his meagre works from the age of seven, and at eleven he was smitten with the archaeology bug. This led to discovering a Neolithic site with quantities of prehistoric pottery… his yearning to make these pots was born.
He spent most of his secondary school years in the pottery department. His father, James William Appleby, had related his tales of Orkney in the army intelligence service during World War Two, so Andrew and his brother Malcolm hitch-hiked there from Kent. The archaeology, scenery, atmosphere and colours had a permanent effect and a decade later moved to the Isles permanently, setting up his pottery in an old chicken house at Fursbreck Farm in Harray.
He has recently published his debut novel “Skard” in his Neolithic series “New Life for Orkney”. This epic conveys the raw richness of people’s lives in Neolithic times through a compelling quest to secure for the people of the Isles new blood from over the ocean.