Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Peace and Love

Wishing you all a peaceful and happy Christmas.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Home and not quite dry

I'm back in my own workshop today in rainy England after my whistle-stop trip to Scotland. I didn't get in the workshop until this afternoon, but it is Sunday after all. It was good get some wet clay on the shelves so that I can start the week with positive momentum. It's difficult getting going again after time away. My dear friend Frank came over, which took the edge off the emptiness of coming home to a cold shed with a leaking roof.

Frank shot the little video of a jug being made. I'd intended to make a few of them, but in the end blasted this one with the gas burner and worked on just this one, while we chatted and he read me the sweetest children's story that he's just written.

You might notice my shameless advert at the end of the video. I have some new pots for sale on my website. Here are a few pictures of some of them. They're mostly big pots, I hoped to get a few smaller ones on there and some other forms, but I just ran out of time, so I'll be adding to it in the next few weeks. Here's a link to the site

Happy Monday everybody

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Potting with lovely Hannah

I'm in Scotland at the moment, making pots with lovely Hannah. She's been making some beautiful things recently. It's so good when we get to make pots together. It's such a shame that there are four hundred miles between us, but it makes these moments very special.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Back to the drawingboard

Hello All

Writing a blog is quite an undertaking and it's so easy to fall behind, particularly with the way my life has been in recent times. I'll not go on about that at the moment.

Anyway, I've decided that I'm going to try and get this neglected blog up and running again.

I'm starting back here with a little film made by my friend James at the weekend.

My laptop broke about a month ago and I haven't been able to get on line, so with time on my hands in the evenings, I started to draw, using charcoal that we made during the last firing. I bought the big sketch pads from the car boot sale and they were cheap enough that I don't have to feel too precious, which eliminates the fear of getting it wrong, which is very liberating.. I really like the size of the paper, a lot of my pots are quite large, so it's great to be able to draw them full-scale. They're not great drawings, but they are great fun to do, so I'm going to do some more. Drawing is so important and I just don't do enough of it.

Oh well, it's a blog. it's a start, I'll be back soon with more if anybody wants to hear it. Thanks for tuning in.
Bye for now and a happy Monday to you all

Monday, 7 October 2013

Happy Birthday Mother!

Happy birthday to my wonderful Mother, love you, miss you, see you soon xxx

Sunday, 29 September 2013


Saturday's stuff on Sunday

Hi there
My goodness it's been a difficult week, the terrible struggle with confidence that is at times absolutely crippling. Thankfully I'm managing to work my way out of the hole that my mind creates for itself. I decided to do a late night last night, so turned up some abrasive and motivating music and made pots in to the early hours.
 These are 3lb jars. The picture shows the lids before they were turned and the knobs thrown on. I made these because the big jugs I was trying to make, just kept going wrong.
 and here with the knobs.
These are some mugs, thrown with soft clay on the kickwheel.

A very large jug, freshly decorated with dandelions.

These are some large bowls that I made last night.
I'm off to the workshop in a minute to make some more. I rarely make bowls or flaware, although I find them a lot less difficult to throw than jugs and jars. I'll have the stress of trying to decorate them tomorrow - hmm, that's why I don't make them.

Back later, here are are the movies, bye for now

Friday, 27 September 2013


Some days things just don't go right. Folks often say how therapeutic this job must be - far from it, it can drive me to despair some days and today was one such day. Making pots demands absolute focus and I find myself lost in an almost meditative place when I'm throwing. But when I have troubles on my mind, it's difficult to reach that level of intense concentration. My confidence falters and it's as if I've decided before the clay even hits the wheelhead, that the pot's going to fail. Negativity is a very destructive emotion and it's self perpetuating.

So after much frustration, a very satisfying swear at a cold caller, who was bugging me for the second time today, then a rant at poor Frank, who put me back on the right path, it was clean the workshop time. Time to unclutter my space and unclutter my mind.

Tomorrow will be better, it needs to be, it will be, it absolutely has to be.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Evening all. I'm just coming round after a really unpleasant migraine that has laid me out all day long - too much stress, not enough sleep, it all catches up in the end. I do feel refreshed however, I've been feeling exhausted recently, so maybe I can get back to work tomorrow with renewed vigor.

Here are some pictures and films from recent days.

Little Bernard has been keeping me company in the workshop, he's a sweet little cat.
At the weekend I went to London to help Hannah at the Ceramics in the City show in the Geffrye Museum

Her stand looked beautiful, she's making amazing pots at the moment, I'm immensely proud of her.

While we were in town, we took the opportunity to visit Barn the Spoon in his workshop in Hackney and came away with a couple of spoons. 
It was great to see a traditional craftsman operating from a shop in an urban High Street.

We also went to watch my old buddy Andrew 'Frank' Grundon perform. He had been on a marionette course at the The Little Angel Theatre in Islington. Apart from being an amazing traditional signwriter, illustrator and jug scratcher, he's also a puppet maker

Here's a head he carved in wood
And here are some of the stars of the show.

And here are some films from the past few days

Bed time, goodnight all

Monday, 16 September 2013

Wardlow Mires

Home again after a soggy weekend in Derbyshire at the Wardlow Mires Food Festival. Lots of buddies, lots of cheese, not that many sales, but a good opportunity to see Hannah and for us to exhibit our wares together for the first time.

Our table was in-between a cider maker and a curry chutney man, we resisted the cider, but the spices helped to keep us warm in some fairly unpleasant weather conditions.It was wild and windy and we got soaked to the skin as the wind blew the rain through the slatted walls of the cattle shed.

On Saturday evening lots of people were invited back to John's(pictured above) house, just down the road, for a lovely warming meal and a chance to catch up with friends. He has a lot of wonderful pottery. It was really good and a reminder that this isn't just about selling pots.
The countryside is dramatic around there, very different from the soft, rolling hills of Mid Devon. I didn't take any pictures, apart from this one, snapped from the car window on my way home. I got home pretty late last night, so it's a slow start this morning, with a crazy kitten climbing up my leg, ouch. Back later with pictures from today, I need to get really busy. Happy Monday everybody.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppy jugs

Already I'm getting behind with blogging. I've been working some very long days, early in to the morning hours.
I've been decorating the jugs that I made earlier in the week.
Wet slip, always a beautiful sight.

Bernard has been keeping me company. He's a sweet little cat, no trouble at all.

Tapered jug with applied decoration.

Today I'm going to make a couple of big pots for my solo exhibition at Thoresby Hall, with the Oakwood Gallery, which opens in October.

I feel like I'm so behind with everything at the moment, I'm going to have to work some long hours in the forthcoming weeks. I've found it difficult getting the drive and confidence that I need to function properly in recent weeks, but things seem to be steadily coming together now at last and the inspiration is returning.

Well I'd better go and make some pots, happy Thursday everybody.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Thank you Anonymous for your sweet words earlier in the week, reading that put a big smile on my face. Thank you everybody who comes to this blog, I have always appreciated the love and support shared by friends in the virtual world and it's good to be back in this forum. I just needed a little break while I got myself back on my feet.

Here are a couple of short films from this week. I worked late in to the early hours last night, so I feel a bit slow this morning, but I need to get moving or all my efforts will have been pointless. As you'll see Bernard has been keeping me company. He's my new little pet, but he's also a business employee, driving away any rodents who might care to visit.

I'm still glazing the last of my pots for the Food Festival at the weekend. I'm looking forward to that, (not the glazing, I hate glazing), but the food festival, because I get to see all my pottery buddies.

I have pots in a group exhibition in the Red Earth Gallery in Bickleigh. It opened on Friday, but as ever, I was knocked out with a bad head when I should have been at the private view. I always get myself so worked up about these things. I'm going to get along in the next few days to take a look, I saw some beautiful prints when I went to deliver the pots.

Anyway, I need to go and do some work, so I'll post this now and return later. Happy Tuesday everybody.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The arrival of young Bernard

Thank you all for your comments, it's good be be getting back to blogging again. I have lots of tales to tell from the last few months and I'll try and get caught up because I've had some amazing experiences I would like to tell you about. For now though, I just need to get on with some work because I have a huge amount to do and I'm really behind schedule. Currently I'm making pots for The Wardlow MIres Pottery and Food Festival in Derbyshire, which takes place on 14th/15th September. Here's a short film of some of the pots I've made for the festival and some footage of my new little friend Bernard, who has come to live with me. Happy Tuesday all.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Back soon

Hello, is there anybody out there who remembers me? I'm coming back very soon :)

Friday, 19 April 2013

More pictures from Mashiko

Hello all
I took many photographs while I was away, these were all taken at Tomoo Hamada's place.

The kiln doesn't have a conventional chimney, it flues through the end of the climbing chamber. It must be quite a remarkable sight when it is in full flame.

Tomoo's workshop

These split lengths of bamboo are used for feeding salt in to the salt kiln.
The salt kiln

Tomoo and me
Pottery shops in Mashiko
Path made from dense firebrick
'oooo men' for Hannah
I was surprised by how similar so many of the plant species are to the ones at home.

Shoji Hamada's house
Kiln at the Mashiko Museum
Shoji's house again