One of the best things about writing this blog is the people I meet. They’re always interesting and everybody has a story to tell but lately, and maybe it’s just co-incidence, I’ve met several career scientists who also have a strong artistic bent. There’s the orthopaedic surgeon who is a talented musician and a major mover on the city’s jazz scene. Then there’s the seismologist turned photographer whose photographs of college libraries created a buzz when she exhibited recently at Michaelhouse. And now I’ve met John Hodges, a consultant neurologist who makes the most beautiful ceramics.
John worked for many years at Addenbrookes where he set up the first Memory Clinic and a dementia research group. Following a sabbatical year in Sydney, John and his family moved to Australia where he established a research centre into frontotemporal dementia at the University of New South Wales. This centre continues to thrive and John still has a part-time involvement but he is now based back in Cambridge where he is co-owner with his son, Adam, of The Locker Cafe on King Street, which I featured in a post in September and whose Chocolate Guinness cake is my current obsession!
John has been creating ceramics for fifteen years. Following courses in Cambridge and Suffolk and with the encouragement of potter friends here and in Australia, he built a studio in his garden, complete with a wheel and kiln. John makes stoneware and raku pieces and last year raised over £2,000 for Jimmy’s Cambridge in a charity event that he held at home.
Now that The Locker Cafe is up and running, John is holding another charity event, “Pots for Poverty” at the cafe from Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 December. As well as his ceramics, you’ll find stoneware pottery from Chesterton-based Susan Cupitt, art from Carol Gregory and her printmaking group, calendars by Sally Greaves featuring her vibrant and colourful photographs of Guatemala, Christmas cards, handmade candles in raku bowls and ceramic tree decorations.
Proceeds will go to two local charities. Jimmy’s Cambridge has been providing emergency accommodation for the city’s homeless for over 20 years. CamCRAG, the Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group, works to help refugees in Northern France and elsewhere, raising awareness of their plight and sending regular convoys with clothing and other aid.
So do pop in to The Locker Cafe, check out these beautiful and unique pieces and maybe tick a few presents off your Christmas list or, better still, buy a Christmas present for yourself!
54 King Street, Cambridge CB1 1LN