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.
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.
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.
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.
Spring has definitely sprung and the bluebells are wonderful. We managed to get out for a family walk between the showers on Sunday. (We did loose a boy en route but that's another story-he did turn up at home much later!)
In the past I've been very reluctant to make mugs as they are a lot of work and it seems to me you cannot charge very much for them. However, with the summer festivals coming up I decided I really needed to revisit them as people do enjoy buying mugs, after all it's very nice to take something home from a show and a mug is something you my use every day.
Here are a few from the first batch I made and I've tried to make the decoration fairly loose (for me).
Here are more mugs but from the second batch I made and I've used some stamps on them to add a different form of decoration.
Here is a final mug which I am using myself now as I decided it was probably to 'free'.
These bowls are commissions all ready to go to help celebrate somebodies special occasions.
This is a page from my sketch book. I've been decorating bowls all week and I usually work from my sketch book. But at the moment I am trying to simplify the drawings so they aren't as naturalistic. In order to achieve this. I've then made some collages and from these made some templates. I'll try to remember to photograph the bowls and then I can assess how successful or otherwise they are.