11 November 2011

Tribute to David

The last few weeks have been the most difficult and saddest time in my life. Everything else instantly had gone out of window. At first I did not know whether I should be back to my blog or not, but I have decided to write this post respectfully to the wider audience for someone who truly deserves to be known. 
My mentor David Constantine White died on 27th October after fighting with cancer. David and I both knew this day would come, but I never expected it so soon. 
I wrote about him this summer in my blog (here and here, or click label under 'mentor') with his kind permission to do so, although I did not mention his illness at that time and obviously I did not wish to publicise that way. I returned to work with him this summer, as I wanted to support him as much as possible. David had full of upcoming ideas and worked soulfully, literally non stop, despite his condition and regular hospital visits. 
This Tuesday was his wake. It was a wonderful and very unique ceremony full of love and respect. (Sad to say this, but it was the best and the most beautiful funeral I have ever been to and I am sure David would have loved it.) To make this happen for David, I would love to say a huge thank you to Tim and Sarah, Tim and Katherine, Dorothy and Ian, who all did tremendous jobs and also supported me going through this sad time. I was asked to ‘man’ his workshop for the visitors prior to the funeral, which was very emotional yet such an honorable task to me. So many potters across the UK and beyond came over, as well as many of his local friends, which revealed how wonderful the man was to all. It was sad that I have finally just met those people at this occasion after knowing him for 11 years. 
As David had wished, a bursary will be established in his name, to support others to benefit from his inspiration. Please visit his newly set up website (click here) to view his wonderful work and further information will be shown in time. 
To me, David was soulful, warm-hearted, eccentric, mysterious and patient man, and above all a strong fighter. I read my last words to David at the memorial, with a brave face on, although I was shaking, I did not cry any more. Many kindly came and spoke to me afterward to share their thoughts. I hope David liked it too. 
Please allow me to share the last part of my words here, that would hopefully help me stay strong. Love to you all. Love to David. x maki 

. . . I miss you David.
Your big hands. Your smile. Your yelling voice. Your humming voice.
Your sense of humour. Your laughter. Your whistling singing to the Archers.
Iʼve tried to recall everything of you, but I canʼt find them all with my tears.
I feel like a ship that lost an anchor.
But from this day, I will shift this sadness into my courage.
Otherwise, I guess you would yell at me again, saying ʻjust get on with it.ʼ
You were and always will be my mentor, my life teacher and my friend.
I will carry your soul with me forever.
I will carry your spirit with me forever.
Thank you for everything you did to me.
Hope you find your dad and no more sad winter.
May you rest in peace.


  1. a lovely tribute to a special potter from a special potter, thanks for sharing

  2. Dearest Makiko,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Rest assured that your mentor had fulfilled his task: you can walk on your own now, I truly believe.
    Sending love and strength!

  3. Oh Maki I'm so sorry. I can't imagine losing someone like that. I'm sure he felt as honoured as you to have you in his live. Your words to him are beautiful. Keep working in his honour Maki x

  4. A very personal and warming tribute. It's great to have special people like this in your life, but it makes it even harder when you loose them.

    Now, it's your turn to mentor someone and pass on your knowledge and expertise! :-)

    take care x

  5. Sorry to hear of your loss Makiko. But what a beautiful tribute to your mentor.

  6. What a beautiful tribute Maki. I am so sorry for your loss. He lives on in your heart and mind though, reminding you to "just get on with it." He always will.

  7. This has made me cry Maki,what a wonderful tribute.

  8. This is a beautiful tribute Maki and I am sure you enriched David's life just as much as he enriched yours. I love Christian's idea that David's mentoring will be passed on through you to others...in fact I know it already is. The words 'I will shift this sadness into my courage' are very meaningful and I know you will do this. I'm glad u are back blogging...I miss your posts when you are quiet. Kx

  9. Oh Maki what a huge loss for you. People live on in our hearts and I am sure he will in yours. Sending love xx

  10. so moving and so beautiful. how wonderful to have found a mentor whom you felt so much for and meant so much to you. I have eyes rather full right now. I can see - just reading the comment above me- that what you received from him will continue in your relationships with others. a life well lived if he can pass that on. xxx

  11. So sorry for your loss, what a beautiful tribute to him.

  12. Mary ,East Coventry USA16/11/11 21:27

    A very beautiful tribute- the photo of your beloved mentor and you is so joyful!
    My sympathy for your loss,

  13. Gorgeous words, he would be proud for your strength.

  14. Hannah McAndrew30/5/17 13:33

    I didn't know you knew David so well. I only knew him a little but had a riotously funny trip to do a ceramics show in Germany with him a few years back now. We had a ball. He was a funny and lovely man.

    1. Thank you for your message, Hannah. Yes I've heard about Germany trip from Geoff. He was always funny and eccentric I must say!