It began as just an evening class taken to shake off the clinical confines of her job in a pathology lab, but Sue Jones soon "fell in love with clay".
She got absorbed by the feeling of being coated in clay up to her elbows, and marvelled at the way clods of earth were transformed as they slipped through her fingers.
"It was such a turnaround from working in the lab," she says. "It seems like a radical change, but it wasn't really."
There is science to the art form, Jones explains, in the understanding of molecules and chemical reactions.
The class Jones had happened to join was run by renowned potter Joyce Gittoes. The Bernard Leach aesthetic prevailed.
"It was brown, you didn't decorate anything, everything was wholesome," Jones says.
"Then things changed and colour became the thing.
"Now it's gone back to rather muted glazes."
Jones had her opportunity to break out of lab-life when her partner Russell Jones took a research position based in London Zoo.
With a folio of pots, Jones gained a selective position at the Harrow School of Art. It was a school for the committed, with 12-hour days.
"It was like a monastic life in a way," Jones says.
The Harrow method was self-sufficiency, with students digging and studying soil composition, learning to form a "clay body", create glazes and build a kiln, and practising the survival skill of repetition throwing.
The idea was to be able to make a living by turning out a hundred pots the same, for functional ware, Jones says.
Making pots people use, not just look at, has continued to drive her creative ethic. But, Jones says, even if she is making a dinner set, "I want them to all be slightly different, subtly".
"Most of my work is in kitchens rather than galleries, and fortunately they still survive," she says.
For a retrospective show held at the 30-year markof Jones' career "all the pots were borrowed from people's kitchens".
"Then they went back to people using them again. That's what they're intended for."
In her home alongside Blackbutt Reserve, built when she and Russell returned from England in the early 1970s, Jones steeps freshly picked lemon verbena leaves in a teapot once exhibited at von Bertouch Galleries, Cooks Hill.
She doesn't own anything that isn't beautiful to make tea in, or to drink it from.
For me, she has selected a slim cup and flat saucer made by her former teacher and great friend, the internationally acclaimed late Australian ceramicist Gwyn Hanssen Pigott.
We sip, and get ourselves lost in a conversation about wasps.
Jones is a keen observer of the fellow vessel makers, particularly those that visit her studio seeking building materials.
"I noticed there was a wasp coming in and making the same thing as me on the wall in clay," she says.
"The way they make them is the way you make the coil pot."
Jones spent hours counting how many times her studio wasps made the return journey from clay source to nest.
They make about 80 trips.
When collecting clay they buzz. They fly silently in a zigzag pattern.
"Then they make another noise when they're making their little coil and actually putting it in place," she explains.
"It's a very predetermined behavioural pattern to make it."
Jones' observations formed the basis of her Masters in 2004,culminating in an exhibition in which she showed human-made pots alongside wasp nests.
Some of the nests she kiln-fired as an experiment, demonstrating the skill level of their makers.
"It's a bit of an obsession to say the least," Jones says.
"I can't stop collecting them, I collected some the other day. They're all slightly different."
After a hip replacement and a broken arm kept her out of the studio last year, Jones has recently returned to the wheel and to the longed-for feeling of clay coating her hands.
And she is again able to take walks in Blackbutt, gathering ideas.
"Not exercise walks," she explains. "You have to go in there with time on your hands.
"I find things. It might just be colours after rain.
"It's not really narrative, it's something just where I am in my mind at the time."
Most of my work is in kitchens rather than galleries, and fortunately they still surviveSue Jones