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fArtor animals

We are delighted to have internationally respected potter and long-term Viva! supporter, Mike Dodd, as part of our Art for Animals scheme. Mike is celebrated as one of the UK’s finest potters – having

exhibited widely throughout the country, with examples of his work held in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Crafts Council and Ulster Museum, Belfast. Mike is hosting his annual exhibition at his Glastonbury studios

in Somerset over the weekends of November 24-25 and December 1-2. One third of the profits will be donated to Viva!. The function of Mike’s pots is, he says, “firstly to

enrich, to keep alive a sense of beauty, to touch feeling as a counter or balance to reason” and that “as probably the most tactile of all the crafts, not to be useable would deny the intimacy necessary for ‘presence’ to emerge in everyday use.” It’s been said his work comes from the heart of the

I was shocked. In an instant it became crystal clear to me that the horse’s life and mine were one and the same. A thought spontaneously arose in my mind: ‘I don’t want any animal to suffer or die on my account.’ It was that simple! I had, in no time at all, with no consideration, become a vegetarian,” he says. Mike is a regular attendee and generous auction donator at our

annual Viva! fundraising dinners. He first discovered Viva! when he was looking for places to advertise non-leather belts he was making at the time to raise

kitchen and the beauty of the countryside – with some of his range including baking dishes and casseroles, perfect for taking straight from oven to table, large bowls for mixing or serving salads and smaller bowls from which to eat soup or noodles. Mike is fascinated by his glaze making, using locally-sourced

I don’t want any animal to suffer or die on my account

money for endangered species in Australia. The organisation was only a couple of years old at the time. “What impressed me was your proactive approach to getting

materials with functionality – Penlee Stone, Somerset Basalt and River Iron. These are just three of the rich glazes that work to enhance the simple, unfussy forms of his pots, which are tactile, intimate and accessible. A vegan with a strong commitment to animal welfare, Mike is also

concerned about conservation and environmental issues. In his 2004 book, An Autobiography of Sorts, he tells of the moment he realised he didn’t want to eat animals anymore, while stroking a horse. “For some unknown reason, I looked intensely into her eyes and

information out to the largely ignorant public, including me, about what goes on in the commercial meat-producing industries. “I had been vegetarian since my early twenties but had no idea

of the brutality of the meat trade. So I became a keen supporter,” he said. For more information about Mike and his pots, please visit The exhibition is being held at Dove Studios, Barton Road, Butleigh, Glastonbury BA6 8TL. 41

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