Saturday, 28 April 2012

Happy weekend blogger friends

More mugs, more rain! Off to Cambridge in the morning, have a great weekend all

Thursday, 26 April 2012

More mugs

Well Marky Mark wasn't able to come tonight and I didn't get any jugs made, so nothing much went to plan. Never mind. In fact I just ended up finishing yesterday's mugs and making some more. I want to have fifty mugs in the next firing, I must get on to jugs next week though.
I have to return to Cambridge this weekend to pack down the exhibition which finishes on Sunday. I'm going to take a few more pots with me to bolster the stock before the show closes

Tuesday and Wednesday on Thursday

Howdy folks

 It's a long time since there's been just me in the workshop. I started off with a good tidy up.
I've been getting back in to the swing of things this week, warming up with a few mugs.
It's been extremely wet all week, good weather for ducks some would say, although they don't seem to be very happy at the moment, I'm not sure what my feet have done that is so wrong. Jug making today, hurrah, my favourite things to make. I think I'm working late tonight with Marky Mark - I haven't seen him in ages, so looking forward to that. I'd better get to work, the day's almost half gone already - I've just spent the morning filling in forms - one of my pet hates. It's clay time Back later, bye for now

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Home again after a punishing schedule and looking forward to getting back in to the workshop in the morning. First job on the list, tidy up in readiness for full scale production. There's much to do, with Earth and Fire and Art in Clay, looming not too far in the future. It was great to catch up with Blogger Andrew, Jon and Blogger Matt Blakely, who came to the opening of the show in Cambridge. The show's on until a week today - I'll be heading back across the country again next weekend to pack up after it closes on Sunday. Yesterday I went down to Porthleven, near Land's End, to play a gig with The Love Daddies. There was quite a crowd there as it was a food festival which attracts 12,000 people - I'm sure we left quite a few folks feeling bemused - I certainly hope so! I met up with my old buddy Frank and his good lady at the festival - always good to see them. Frank and I have been working on more collaborative pieces - this amazing sgraffito work is a jug commemorating the forthcoming Queen's Diamond Jubilee which Frank is currently scratching. I'm sure you'll agree, he's a clever boy.

Have a great week everybody

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Here's what's been occurring

Hi folks

Well life has been really busy lately. Since I last blogged, I've fired the kiln, taken part in a two day workshop on Dartmoor with Nic and Adam, said farewell to Adam and Hannah, driven to Cambridge and hung an exhibition and now I'm visiting my parents. Back to Cambridge tomorrow for the private view, home Friday, gig in deepest Cornwall on Saturday. Sunday, maybe I'll have a lazy day.

Here are some little videos and pictures of it all going on

This is a shot of the pack. Adam and I had worked long hours to get enough pots together for the firing, with a short deadline.

Here's a video of the firing. Hannah came down from the frozen North and Frank came up from the sunny South to help. It went really smoothly - it took about fourteen and a half hours.

It was all too much for one particular stoker.

I wonder if it was something she drank?

Frank scratching on a big puzzle jug

The obligatory post-firing sofa picture.

And here are the results. There were some very dark pots, but some splendid shiny bright ones too. It was a firing full of information - I had new glazes throughout the chamber which worked well and a number of raw pots, including 'The Cardinal', so named by Dixie - the big, raw glazed baluster jug that I'd placed in the hot spot. It's a very green Cardinal, if there can be such a thing. It fired really successfully, which bodes well for future kiln loads of large, raw pots, although I fancied it to become much more gnarly than it did - I must try harder to over fire next time.

We unpacked the pots, then headed off to Nic's workshop, where Adam gave a talk on Friday evening.

The next day we were there again, bright and early and Adam, Nic and I demonstrated our various and varied skills to a crowded workshop. It was quite daunting for me, sitting between these two amazing craftsmen. Nic and I were at college together over twenty five years ago and in spite of my nervousness, it was great to be doing this alongside him all these years later. His attitude and approach have really taught me so much in my relatively short career as a full time potter. The video isn't very good, as I was supposed to be working, not filming, but it'll give you a rough idea of what was going on.

This final film was made on Monday night and Tuesday in the gallery in Cambridge and the studio of one of the exhibiting painters, my almost lifelong friend, Simon Jowitt. It also features Jono Lloyd, another of the exhibiting artists. It's very unusual for a potter to get the opportunity to exhibit with painters of this caliber, I'm really pleased to be part of it all. The show opens tomorrow evening. You can find out more about the group here.

I'll report back from the show after the opening. Time for bed for a tired little me
Goodnight all

Friday, 6 April 2012


Hi folks
We're coming to the end of the make. In fact we're not making any more - it'll take us all our time to finish what we have on the shelves. Everything we can fire in time will go through the bisc kiln, the rest will be raw fired. I haven't done that in a long time. Mastering raw glazing will free me from the scale restrictions of the electric kiln, so that I can make some much bigger pieces.

Getting the glaze on to raw pots is a lot more challenging than it is on bisc - there's so much of it that is about timing. I glaze mine when they're leather hard. It's critical not to touch the slip too early as it's easily marked or smudged - if they dry too much, they crack.

I glazed the big baluster jug today which was tricky as it has a lot of fragile applied decoration - it was a relief to get that done. It's going to be fired right in the hot spot, where the flame comes in to the kiln chamber. I'm hoping it will provide the most dramatic effect, hopefully earthy and reminiscent of old medieval pottery - it's an experiment, it'll either work or not, there'll be no middle ground. Wood firing is all about taking chances......and making seconds.

I really do keep meaning to take some still photographs, here's another film

Happy Good Friday everybody

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Tuesday, early on Wednesday

It was another long day today. I came home tonight and left Adam working hard, late into the night. He has a lot of lids to make for the jars he made earlier in the week. It'll be nice for him to have the place to himself for a while, without me rambling on.

We're counting down the days to firing time. There's still a lot to do, but if we keep focused, it'll happen. Well it's time for me to get to bed and get some much needed sleep. Bye for now

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Thursday to Monday on Tuesday

Hello everybody
Life continues to be very busy, so I've had little opportunity to keep on top of my blog. Here's a quick update, before I run away off back to work.

At the weekend, we went to visit a wonderful exhibition of work by Anne Mette Hjortshoj, at the Goldmark Gallery in Uppingham. Here's a beautiful film, made by the gallery, about Anne Mette's work.

And here are a couple of rather more randomly shot films of what Adam and I have been up to in recent days in the workshop.

In a week's time, we'll be preheating the kiln ready for firing, so we've been putting in long hours to get pots made. I'm very tired, but it will be worth the extra effort at this stage.

Well, please excuse the briefness of this post, I hope the films say it all for me, I must get to work.

Happy Tuesday everybody, back soon