Rough Clay

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Threatened with life in coal mines of war torn Britain, Archie Barnett is determined to pursue his ambitions. His dreary life is fuelled by his desire to create something beautiful and affordable to everyone. Always a dreamer, he defies the opposition of an embittered mother to follow his wishes. With the help of his rich school-friend's family, he strives to begin his new life. His ideals are challenged as the reality becomes clear. He seeks love and happiness but it is a roller coaster of successes and failures, portraying the reality of life in the Staffordshire Potteries of the Twentieth Century.

As Archie tells his Headmaster,

I've seen things. In the shops. Beautiful things. Real china plates like royalty must eat from. And beautiful flowers and ladies in frilly skirts all made out of fine china. They're so lovely you could cry just looking at them. Oh, and I'm going to famous. I've practised my signature for when I am."

This novel owes much to the story of the life of my father Arthur Bowker, though it is by no means a totally accurate account. He was the son of a miner and eventually a manufacturer of fine bone china and I do know he had a burning ambition to manufacture beautiful things that people could cherish. You can see his china on