The village was saddened to hear of the death of Andy Burt, the Potter, at the age of 91.
Last year, we published an article about Andy on the FVA Blog, and here is an edited version of that article to mark his passing.
Andy, and his wife Hazel, moved to Fearnan in 1982 having taken early retirement from their jobs in Harrogate. Andy had been Site Engineer at ICI’s HQ in the town, while Hazel was a senior lecturer in Social Sciences at Harrogate College.
A few years earlier, on a family visit to Whitby, Andy had spotted a potter working at a wheel in a shop window. He was fascinated and stopped to chat, only to discover that the potter had been previously been an engineer. A seed was sown during that conversation, leading to Andy signing up for a course in pottery at Harrogate College ………. and the rest, as they say, is history.
For a few years, pottery was a hobby but with early retirement came the opportunity to turn it into something more. Andy and Hazel started to look for a building that could be a pottery as well as a home – and they found it in Fearnan, when John McEwen put the building that is now the Loch Tay Pottery on the market. Andy, originally from Paisley and a keen cyclist in his younger days, knew the Loch Tay area well from cycling trips and was very happy to settle in Fearnan.
And so began Andy’s second career as the Loch Tay Potter. He became a familiar figure, sitting on the bench outside the pottery, working away. He remained as passionate about his craft as ever and would enthuse about the fact that the same techniques had been used for thousands of years since the skill was first introduced to Britain by the Romans. He did everything by hand, from throwing the pots to making the glazes.
Whilst Andy took early retirement from his life as an engineer, he never retired from being a potter. Even in his 90’s, The Loch Tay Pottery was open seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. As he said, it’s an ideal situation when you can turn a hobby into a job, and do what you want to do, when you want to do it.
We shall all miss seeing Andy sitting on the bench in the sun outside the Pottery.
The funeral is in Perth at 11:30am on Friday 20th February, and afterwards in the Village Hall at 13:30pm.