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.

Monday, 28 April 2014

 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.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Meet the family

Here they are - the whole family! Tomorrow my daughter, grandaughter and son-in-law all fly home to China. It's been an amazing few months with lots of fun and laughter.
Here's a picture of them at the Brampton olympics (but please don't tell them I posted this) held yesterday.