Wednesday, 27 February 2008

fishy things

I had a number of bowls in the kiln with mermaids and the like on. They are very similar to ones I did quite recently but they went to a gallery in Battersea so I thought I would do a few more. I had decided last year that I would not make any more of these but the gallery owner had seen some I had in a gallery in Ewell and ordered them. Made me think I should try a few more. I came across a picture of a mermaid plate by one of the Toft's which made me think I was in very good company. this will give you a view of the Thomas Toft and a plate I hadn't seen before by Bernard Leach. Yesterday a reclaimed clay but it was still too soft to throw larger bowls so I am hoping to try some today and I have a batch of jugs to slip.

This is another piece by one of my class of ten year olds. As I got it out of the kiln I thought wouldn't it be nice to just sit and play with clay and make a little fisherman -maybe with his own little mermaid.But then wait a minute-could he be the icing on a wassail bowl complete with a whole load of fish??

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Welsh Folk Museum

On the way to West Wales we called at St. Fagans folk museum. It is a very extensive site and probably it would be difficult to see every thing even in a day but I just wanted to see some of the pots again. I've posted a picture of a wassail bowl. It couldn't have had any more crammed onto the lid. There is even a table in front of the man. I've also included a picture of a money box with a chicken on. It was quite difficult to get photos as there was bright sunlight on the pots. Both of these pots were done at Ewenny pottery which is near Bridgend in South Wales.
The top picture is a wassail bowl I finished earlier this year but I am keen to try another one and make it more exuberant!
Yesterday I got back to the studio as the boys returned to school. They have two days off this week as contractors are demolishing a dangerous part of the school building. So it may be a short week!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

found sculpture

We spent a long week-end with my parents in West Wales. There are some very beautiful beaches to walk along.We parked at Llansteffan and then walked around the rocks to a bay called Scott's bay. It was a surprise to find these 'installations' on the beach but added to the fun. My son has managed to sit in a 'thatched' cave in the rocks. At the end of the beach there is a house perched at the bottom of a hill and we saw the first sculpure in their garden. The weather was wonderful and there was just so much to see and enjoy.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

library display and mystery pot

Nearly forty years ago I bought this pot in Gloucestershire. I was reminded of it with Doug's talk of digging local clay. This guy was digging his own clay and other raw materials at the end of his garden. He was working in a fairly small garden shed. His name was either P C Brown or C P Brown! I think this is a great little pot and over the years we have had a lot of fun with it as we try to get friends to drink from it. Has any one ever heard of this potter?
I took some time off this afternoon to do a display in my local library. They have been very helpful in getting some wonderful books for me and I thought it would be good to show them the pots the have helped me to create. They are able to borrow beautiful facsimille copies of medieval manuscripts that I could not afford to buy. The British Library has produced a copy of the Luttrell Psalter which is one of my favourite books to work from.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

kitchen dresser

I haven't got any pots out of the kiln as yet this week. I will be opening the kiln in the morning, though much of it is the work of my students. I have spent all week decorating more bowls and quite a few mugs. It is a very time consuming process. I hope to make some less decorated pots as soon as this batch are finished.
Any way I thought I would post a picture of a corner of my kitchen. Most of these pots are my own but there are a few others. There is a Mary Wonderauch cheese plate there on the righthand side. Even though I use an electric kiln and the firing cycle is exactly the same each time I still really look forward to opening it each time. It can be disappointing sometimes but equally it can be majic.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Studio and recent pots

This is my studio probably as clean as it gets.Just over a year ago it was a dark, damp and very cold garage.
(As you can see my car has to sit outside!)
I did work out there but it was very difficult through the winter.
I have two books on studios 'Setting up a Pottery Workshop' by Alistair Young and 'Setting up Your Ceramic Studio'by Virginia Scotchie.The latter is the equivelent of Homes and Gardens for potters and features studios in North Carolina. Great to browse through with a cup of coffeee (or maybe a glass of red wine). There are 12 interesting studios ranging from rustic to state of the art modern, spacious workshops. Possibly Ron has visited some of these.

These four bowls came out of the kiln this week.
I had forgotten all about the seaside themes that I had done before but a lady saw a Noah's ark bowl in a gallery and asked for some along the same lines.
I think I may well do some more this week while I am still in 'seaside' mode.

I love your bowl with the fowl in the centre Hannah. I have never done any slip trailing. My one attempt did not go well so I never returned to the method. I would be really interested to know how you apply your slip to the outside of the bowl. Doug has given me some instructions for pouring which I am now using for applying glaze. Tomorrow I am going to mix a large bin of glaze so I may return to dipping.