Home News Jim Robison raises £250 for The Kirkwood through the creation of his beautiful daffodil

19 Sep 2023 Community

Jim Robison raises £250 for The Kirkwood through the creation of his beautiful daffodil

Jim Robison, a local artist from Holmfirth, has created a huge ceramic daffodil that was shown as part of Ten Thousand Daffodils at Lowther Castle in Penrith, between April and June of this year. Jim's creation was auctioned off and raised a brilliant £250 for The Kirkwood. 

The reason Jim picked The Kirkwood to raise funds for was to do so in the memory of his long-time friend, Chris Jenkins, who died last year whilst being cared for by The Kirkwood.

Jim owns Booth House Gallery and Ceramics Studio in Holmfirth and was asked to take part in the display by organiser Helen Ratcliffe. She was inspired by the poetry of Wordsworth and his celebration of the daffodils on the shores of Ullswater. 

She came up with an idea to create a display of 10,000 daffodils and put them out there for the public to see. 

The project aimed to raise £300,000 for six main charities, with the funds from the auction also supporting many other charities throughout the country such as The Kirkwood.

The project brought communities together, with businesses, schools and volunteers getting involved to build, fire, glaze, and plant 10,000 ceramic daffodils as described in the famous poem by William Wordsworth.

Jim who was born and educated in the USA, moved to Yorkshire in 1972, where he established the Booth House Gallery and Ceramics Studio, Jim’s work is usually slab built and slip decorated. Often working to commission, including large-scale sculpture and architectural ceramics. 

Jim enjoys an experimental approach to making, combining construction techniques with unusual surface textures created through multiple layers of clay and colourful glazes.

Regarding being involved in the project he said:

"This Harbinger Daffodil, a stoneware ceramic flower, was just one small part of a much larger effort to raise funds for good causes.  

"Organiser, Helen Holland came on one of my ceramic courses in Holmfirth, at the Booth House Gallery in 2020, and felt inspired to go on to much bigger things. When she asked me for advice and to participate in this effort, I have to admit how little I realised the scale and magnitude of her ambitions was.

"To see the final results and to know that thousands of pounds were derived from our combined efforts has brought a great deal of satisfaction to me and all the members of Helen’s team.

"Being asked to describe how enjoyable this project was, is difficult. It was more an acceptance of a challenge; recognizing the work involved and doing your best to make a good job of it.  

"Clay, glaze, making, colouring, and firing the results to create durable, (and hopefully) enjoyable works of art has been my passion and indeed, my profession for over fifty years now.  

"It still seems like Christmas when the hot kiln is opened to reveal the alchemy of changes brought about by intense heat and time.  

"There are always ups and downs in this fickle business of course. Delight is tempered with apprehension and joy can vanish when flaws appear and colours stray far from sought after intentions. So in short, Delight is always coupled with Relief." 

Jim had a very personal reason for choosing to raise funds for The Kirkwood. 

He commented: "The Kirkwood was chosen as my charity to support. I’ve had previous ceramic work on show in the gardens and more recently, a dear friend and fellow potter, Chris Jenkins, passed away in gentle and thoughtful care there. I thought that using my ceramic skills that we both shared and had a love for would be an excellent way to say thank you." 

Our community fundraiser Judith Ambler commented: "We would like to thank Jim for creating a beautiful daffodil in his friend's memory and for also helping to raise the money he has. 

"Jim clearly has skills to make amazing art and he has used those skills to now help us care for hundreds of people across Kirklees. We are very proud and delighted that Jim is a part of our movement." 

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