Monday, 8 September 2014

A juggling act

 Do you remember these puzzles we had as children? You had to move the pieces around to make the picture or the run of numbers. They could be quite frustrating if you couldn't quite get them where they needed to be!
Well my studio has been a bit like that. I've had to keep moving pots around so that I can continue using the space. I've had to get bisque firings on to clear work space for throwing then I've had to get on and glaze to keep the space clear...

 It feels as though my studio is shrinking around me. I really need a bigger space.
 I've had to go to London twice recently to apply for a Chinese visa. the first time I went on to Brick Lane for a little wander and a coffee after queueing for three hours. These wall painting are all off Brick Lane. My favourite place for coffee is in No 5 Fournier Street where they also keep a good range of pots by Jonathan Garrett.

 When I returned a few days later I popped into the British Museum for a wander. I so like these tiles. I get excited about them every time.

 I really enjoy this mouth watering mug and of course I thought of Hannah when I saw it.
 I'm always looking out for objects with script on them and it never fails to fascinate me but isn't this a bit macabre!? It's been a very busy, but enjoyable, few weeks so on Sunday afternoon we went for a walk around the lake. It's just minutes away from our house but we hardly ever make time to stroll around. There were bird watchers out but I don't know what they are all looking at! I expect that many of the birds are getting ready to migrate.
We are getting ready to head to Wardlow Mires next week-end for Pots and Food. 
It's a very enjoyable week-end with a great combination of pots and fine food. Do come along and sample both. I'm looking forward to both! It's also in a very beautiful part of the world.

Friday, 15 August 2014

new bowls

 I made a few of these bowls to take to Rufford to see how they would be received. They sold really well so I feel encouraged to try to develop this simpler style.
Initially I thought it might be a quicker way of working but I am finding that although the end result looks simpler it takes just as long to make.
As well as simplifying the overall look I wanted a 'retro' look where the colour didn't quite match the line work. I used to collect old reading schemes and I remember the illustrations being like this.I got a few out to check if I had remembered rightly and certainly the figures had a line of white space around them. It may have just been because they were produced cheaply or maybe it was a 1960's thing.
Although in my minds eye I can see the result I want I'm not there yet and it may be a bit more involved to create than I thought.
I'm enjoying the process though so I will get back to it next week.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Rufford and beyond

 It's quite a few weeks since Rufford but here are just a few pictures of the stands near mine. Anna Mercedes Wear's stand was opposite mine.

 David Wright was next to me and below is Richard Heeley's stand for which he won the award for the best stand.
When we were at Rufford three years ago we met Jack Blackburn who has a stall called Pots from France.
I was really struck by a plate by a French potter who I had never heard of before named Jean Nicholas Gerard. I bought the plate and determined that I would visit his pottery one day.
Not having done much travelling I didn't really know what this would entail.
 When I looked up Jean Nicholas Gerard on the inter-net I also came across two other slipware potters. So why not visit them as well?  Our first stop was at Poterie de Sampigny the home of Sylvie and Francois Fresnais. Unfortunately they were away but we enjoyed looking at their wonderful pots. There is a video of their pottery which is well worth watching.

 I have no sense of direction but Mark had the map and I had the steering wheel so we travelled through olive groves..
 around magnificent lakes..
 alongside lavender fields
 onto Valensole and the pottery of Jean Nicholas Gerard. I was so determined to see the pottery that I hardly even remembered to take any photographs. We stayed at Jean Nicholas's gite so we were able to enjoy all his beautiful pots and handle them as his gite was equipped with every sort of pot. You can see a video of Jean Nicholas Gerard here.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Preparing for Earth and Fire

 These are some of the pots out of this weeks firing. They will be coming with me to Rufford next week.
The spoons are very beautiful objects, each one is like a small sculpture. They are by a spoon carver based in Spitalfields. We know him as Barn the Spoon and it is a delight to visit his studio. I use his spoons daily in the kitchen and they really enhance the experience of cooking. You can find out more about him here and here.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Another firing

 The weather has been grey all week but the garden still cheers me up. This is the view from the studio. Hopefully there will be some sun shine over the week-end so I can do more gardening. I am definitely a fair weather gardener.
 I unloaded the kiln this morning. Here is another commission for a wedding bowl. I am always pleased when they come out well.
 Here are a couple of jugs from this firing. Most of the work coming through at the moment will come to earth and Fire with me.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Out of my system

 Working within the slipware tradition I am aware of the beautiful harvest jugs from North Devon. I thought I might do my own take on them. I enjoyed doing them and I feel that I've got it out of my system now.
Although it was interesting to make them I don't think I'll be doing any more.
I'm not even sure what I can do with these now but it was somehow pleasing to get the feel of how they were decorated with all that scratching away.

 I feel much more comfortable with my usual way of working and decorating.

 Above are some of the bowls I have made recently. The bowls below are the most recent and I've tried to simplify them and introduce more colour. I've only completed a few of these so far but I'm looking forward to playing about with this idea a bit more. I didn't want to do too many of these until I had some through the glaze firing but when I finish the back log of things in the damp cupboard I will return to them.