New Vases

Whilst experimenting with layers of  porcelain on stoneware clays for plates it seemed natural to make some of these into vertical forms too.

I joined these slabs together whilst the clay was still quite soft. This is a technique that my friend Nigel was using when he was potting out in Spain, partly because of the hot weather and the need to join them together quickly before they dried out too much and partly due to his spontaneous nature. I really enjoyed making some slab pieces with him and this is the technique I decided to use this time too. When you scrape a kidney down the join of two slabs when the clay is still nice and soft you get a lovely burr on the edge, and this seems to suit the marks I was drawing into the surface and break nicely through the glaze

 

Goodbye to the Pottery cottage – the end of an era

I’m so very sad to say that the Pottery Cottage has finally closed down forever.

Happy clutter around the kiln

It was a truly special place and I will so miss the community that flourished within those walls and the creative energy of those people who took the trouble to find a scruffy little shed tucked away in a dingy corner of the University campus.

People made such creative, individual and beautiful work.

I have been so lucky to have access to such an incredible resource for so long, and to have had the privilige to make so many good friends there.

I can’t even begin to express how much I will miss it, and all those fantastic people!

Sit quietly and you might see a kingfisher flash by

New pots from Aug 2012 firings

The kilns on at the moment and I’m very excited about opening it as there are some pots in there with new glazes that came out of glaze tests from the last firing. Here are some pics of a few pots that came out of the last firing.

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

More pots from July 2012 firings

A few more new pots that came out of the kiln this July.

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New pots from July 2012 firings

Some new pots that came out of the kiln this July. I have been playing around with the glazes and the firing cycle a bit, and also trying out a new type of foot for these plates, I’m really pleased with them and an added bonus is that the plates will hang more easily with these new feet.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of laminating porcelain on to stoneware clays with additions of local iron bodies, the second plate below came out quite well so I’ll be pushing this idea a bit further.

Click on the pictures for a larger image.

A day at the fair

 Melton Country Fair went really well – after a pretty grim Rainy Saturday we were quite lucky with the weather and only experienced one very short rain shower all day, which felt like a bit of a reprieve after the downpours, hailstorms and tornedos of the last week.

Ian made a sturdy wind shelter around the Raku kiln to protect the gas flame from the gusty wind and made sure that our gazebos were well pegged down and couldn’t blow away and we were all set.

I think we had about 50 people come and have a go on the wheel, although it was mostly kids. Adults seem more afraid of “making a fool of themselves” and only a couple of grownups were brave enough to risk it, and ended up making really nice pots!

It’s a lovely event and I was sorry not to get more time to look round it properly, but I did have time to meet a Barn Owl, chat to the Riverford vegbox people and scoff some delicious strawberries. A top day out all in all!

putting the finishing touches to another masterpiecePutting the finishing touches to her masterpiece. enjoying getting her hands dirty Enjoying getting their hands dirty.

My friends Jo and Faye were absolute stars – they ran the Raku stall. Faye did get a little bit tired of being asked if she had come in costume – she always dresses like this!

Jo and Faye doing their thingPots reducing in the sawdust bins. all hands on deck Teamwork.
leaning over the windbreak to get the last pots out of the bottom of the kilnIan’s sturdy windbreak stopped the flame from blowing out on a very gusty day. precisely applied sawdustPrecisely applied sawdust.
these flames mean a good copper reduction is forming in the glazeThese flames mean that the glaze will be very rich and metallic. Jo putting the last of the pots into the reduction binsJo putting the last of the pots into the reduction bins.

Melton Mowbray Country Fair Sunday 1st July 2012

This Sunday I will be taking my potters wheel to the Melton Country Fair. I did this event last year and it was great fun with an endless stream of people all very keen to get their hands dirty throwing a pot, many of them for the first time.

It was a really lovely event last year with some yummy food stalls, and all sorts of interesting things going on that I mostly missed, I did manage to catch a glimpse of some indian runner ducks being rounded up by sheep dog though …. sweet!

This year my friends Faye and Jo are going to fire the Raku kiln too. I can’t wait to see what the nice people of Melton think of their freshly painted pots being dragged from the kiln red hot and thrown into bins of sawdust and the ensuing flames and smoke!

After the weekend I’ll post some piccies of the fun and games.

Jigger Jolley conversion kit for sale

For sale:

Jigger arm, Jolley cuphead and mouldmaking block and case. This has been adapted to fit on a standard Alsager wheel, all you need to do is unscrew the wheelhead, replace with the cuphead and bolt the arm into position. £75 buyer collects from Loughborough or delivery possible at exta cost.

Laser G2 kiln shed for sale

For sale: Lovely bespoke designed and hand made kiln shed! Perfect if you don’t have a garage or similar to house your kiln in and don’t want to fill your studio with kiln fumes. There’s a hole in the roof to allow for the flue, a small hole on the side to run wiring in for the electric controller and double doors for lots of access when packing the kiln. £100 for the shed (kiln and chimney not included!) Buyer collects or an additional delivery cost might be possible.

External dimensions:
Height at front – 188cm
Height at back – 160cm
Width – 100cm
Depth – 104cm

Roof hole is 32cm in diameter

Internal dimensions:
Height at front – 180cm
Height at back – 159cm
Width – 91.5cm
Depth – 96cm

 

 

RawArts Raku Workshops

These were evening sessions with the RawArts group from Rawlins College. In the first session the group made tiles and decorated them using stamps I’d carved for them and then we Raku fired in the second week.

Many thanks to my friend Faye who came and got stuck in, she was a fantastic help!