Thursday, 22 May 2008


Images of Adam and Eve from Werra ware from northern Holland.

I really enjoyed seeing Ron's sketch book and it gave an insight into how he translates that into his pots. I work from my sketch books every day so they are a very important part of the process for me.
When I was in college surface decoration was somewhat derided and form was everything. We marvelled at the wonderful strong forms created by potters like Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. So it has taken some time for me to work out what I want to do and feel confident about it.
At the moment I am looking at pots with Adam and Eve as decoration. (I don't think I dare do a Google search for Adam and Eve though!)
I tried to scan in some of my Adam and Eve drawings but they are in pencil and you just couldn't see them. So I have put some of feathers I have allready used and rabbits which I am thinking of using around the edge of pots.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

New pots

Here is one of the 'mystery' pots. A string holder! Just what you want for the potting shed or the kitchen (maybe). Sometimes I attach a pulled loop at the side to hold a scissors but I totally forgot this time.
These pots are also out of this weeks firing. The teapot is OK but not really the shape I had in mind. I feel I need to work a lot more with this to get it to match the mental image I have.

These are just two of the jugs in this shape but I have photographed the two sides to give a clearer idea of what they are like. I'm pleased with these and have put several more into a biscuit firing to go on tonight. They are made with 1 kilo of clay so they are about 7 inches high (18 cms). That weather last week was brilliant for getting things dry and made the whole process seem much quicker. Now I am happy with my glaze again I will be in full swing next week.
The weather here this week-end is not so good-cold and damp-so lets hope all the happy campers are OK in North Wales!

Friday, 16 May 2008

More of the same

Following my unsatisfactory glaze firing I went to my supplier on Saturday and bought a whole new stock of raw materials. I mixed them over the weekend and did some glazing on Monday. I had a good look at the dry pots and thought it was lacking in flux so added more lead sesquesilicate to the original glaze and did some tests of that as well. The results were all perfect! Whew- what a relief.
So Thursday I glazed a load of pots and packed a really tight load into the kiln. Will be able to open that tomorrow.

Here is a batch of jugs I threw on Tuesday. As my decoration method is so slow I don't generally throw too many pots at any one time. I only threw 10 jugs. The top picture shows them slipped.
These are thrown from 2 kilos of clay. Everybody else seems to think in pounds so I don't know what the conversion is into pounds.
These are so much easier than last week's jugs . On these I shape the lips whilst the pots are wet ( no slabbing on spouts) and I don't slip the inside of these either so that is immediatley 2 less processes. I don'y turn them either!!
I'm lookin forward to opening the kiln in the morning though in theory my results should be fairly standard every time as I am using an electric kiln. Will post my results hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Dry glaze!

The weather has been such a joy that I enjoy strolling to the bottom of the garden to feed the chickens at lunch time. I was very disappointed this morning to find that my glaze firing was on the dry side. After all Hannah's troubles with firing I could hardly believe my eyes. I had a lot of trouble with my glaze when I bought my new kiln and in the end as I couldn't solve the problem I changed glazes. I have been very pleased with the new glaze even though I have been fine tuning the colour achieved through the glaze and the colour I add to the slip. My slip is quite cream as I add some of the clay body to it and some stain.
Anyway.I was so pleased with the glaze I decided would mix up an extra large amount! So last week between other things I mixed a whole load more glaze. Although I stuck to my glaze recipe I used raw materials from a different supplier. The most likely thing is that I have mixed the glaze wrongly (unlikely) or that the raw materials were poor. As soon as I can I will go to my usual supplier-Clay Cellar, in Kent-get a new batch of materials and start all over. At this stage I can't afford to loose any work

As I have been decorating all week I thought I would show my favourite tools. From the left they are-tooth pics, a hair grip, pencil, nail set in a wooden dowel, metal modelling tool, brush and felt tip pen.Whew. I'm keeping an eye on Ron's sgraffito work it looks so lively and spontaneous. I must try and do some more fun stuff.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Slow progress

Found a hedgehog in the shed a few days ago but he was camera shy. I left a bowl of water and a bowl of chicken out for him but the next day he had gone.

Last Monday I threw quite a few jugs and some other pots. Tuesday I added pouring lips and handles. I leave them overnight in newspaper so the water levels in them evens out, if I don't do that the pouring lips can give way!! Wednesday I slipped the insides and then left them to dry back so that I could slip the outside on Thursday. Of course whilst all this is going on I am working on other pots but nevertheless it is a very slow process. Above is both sides of the first one to be completed. I have plenty of ideas for things I want to make and a pile of sketch books with ideas but I seem to be very slow making progress.
Today I got a glaze firing on that will be ready to open on Thursday morning. There are mostly bowls for some things I've got coming up in several weeks.