My Wild Life
Ceramicist Mary Rose Young is among the Forest of Dean’s most colourful characters. She lives and works in Parkend
Iwas born here and there’s a danger of being blasé over what we have. It’s a fantastically wild place and lots of people like it for all the walking and cycling opportunities it offers. There’s a lot of freedom because it’s not fenced in - it gives you the feeling that you can walk out into the woods at any time.
I have always felt that the forest is a lovely and a kind of secret place; it’s inspiring because nobody is looking over your shoulder. It’s a great place for artists who want to get out of cities where lots of other artists work, as here they don’t feel hemmed in by other people’s creativity.
I like to go to Lydney Park Gardens, which feels quite tropical when the rhododendrons are out. I do like flowers, I can’t think of anything negative that could be said about a flower, and I use them as imagery in my pottery. Sometimes, though, I yearn to go somewhere away from the Forest of Dean, like the River Severn or Cotswolds hills, and immerse myself in a vista.
We have wild boar surrounding our house, which means we can go outside some mornings and think that our gardens have been rotovated, and we also have free-roaming sheep. We don’t see so many deer, which I find more charming.
Our home is right behind a bird sanctuary and we hear owls at night. We have a number of bats around the house, including the rare horseshoe species, and I used to see glow worms when I walked down to the pub.
My favourite time in the Forest of Dean is in the spring, when the bluebells are flowering and the leaves are an acid green colour. When the bluebells are out the combination of smell and colour, and the sound of the birds, is delightful and restful.
I’ve been producing my ceramics for around 30 years and I’m very proud of the way in which they’re very colourful and glamorous. There are occasions when I take a break from ceramics and go out and draw what I see. It’s a different discipline from what I usually do and it’s great to go out with a sketch book and take a look around. But I can’t do this every day and as an artist, I’m conscious of the need to make a living, which means I’m more often or not working rather than being out and about.