Jut a few more photos from Aylesford. Mark and I both liked Nick's work. Always good when we both like someones work as often we go for different things. Three potters competed to throw the most pots in an hour to break the Guiness Book of Records. Billy pictured above threw 150 (pictured behind him). The previous record had been in the 80s.
I realised when I returned to Aylesford this morning that I hadn't taken any pictures of my own stand. Miri had also picked up on that! The weather has been brilliant so it has been a relaxed day. Plenty of people to chat to-folks buying and other potters. It's been an opportunity to catch up on old friendships and make new friends. The community of potters must be one of the most generous and interesting ones. It's certainly the most inclusive group of people I have ever been involved with. Back tomorrow for the final day. Chatting to others has also made me think of avenues I want to explore with my own work. It's been stimulating and motivating. I think I need to get some of my thoughts down in writing whilst they are still fresh in my mind. Notebook out or just an early night?
Yesterday we set up at Aylesford in glorious hot weather. Today has continued the same with blue skies and beautiful hot summer weather. I forgot about my camera as I was glad to sit down and read The Ceramic Review and chat to people as they passed by. So I quickly snapped these few stalls on my way out tonight. Clever Nicola Gladwin is actually in Rufford so her sister-in-law was caring for her stall. The bottom stand is Philip Revell's and I must confess I succumbed to two of his mugs. We came home promptly to get son number 2 to the leavers ball. Son number 1 organised himself to get to an 18th birthday party!! Aylesford is still on Saturday and Sunday so I am hoping this weather holds up.I would have liked to get to Rufford which is also on this wek-end. Hannah and Doug are there. Also one of my pottery heros is there- Geof Fuller. I would have liked to see his work.
Last week was very busy.My car had to go into the garage as it wouldn't start and I am going to need it for the Aylesford fair this week-end. All is now well with the car -it had to have a new battery and a number of other things I don't even try to understand! When I packed the kiln for a bisque on Wednesday it only responded with an alarming noise so I had to call in the people from Clay Cellar to put it to rights. They were brilliant and came out on Friday to get it going again. Today I have been working on the wassail bowls. I've had the kiln on so with the warm weather and the heat from the kiln it was all drying very quickly. As you can see I managed to get them into the slip. At that point the warmth was a real asset as they can collapse with the weight of the slip if they don't dry out fairly quickly. I am running out of time this week as we set up at Aylesford on Thursday. My damp cupboard is full of pots in polythene!
What is it? Some funny casserole, a pot with a hat? Remember I come from Wales! Yes it's going to be a wassail bowl! I thought I needed a break from the normal run of things and also the troglodytes (or at least two of them) are now at home all exams finished. I suggested they help in the garden this afternoon thinking it would keep them occupied but they needed more suppervision than I imagined so it wasn't one of my better ideas. Anyway, I thought I needed some time to 'think' and plan the next batch of work so the wassail bowls are meant to be light relief from the normal run of things. When I was a child we made frequent visits to the National Folk Museum where there are a number of wassail bowls. They were one of the reasons I wanted to pot. For me they are a good reference point to the old potteries in Ewenny and Welsh culture in general.
The garden is needing attention but I still enjoy it even though it's getting a bit out of shape. Lawns need mowing , borders trimming, potatoes earthing up, etc. etc. Here are a few of the pots out of this weeks glaze firing. There were more bowls with insects and feathers ready for Aylesford which is in a fortnight. The jugs above and the bowl below are all in the local Kent clay. They are a bit chunky because of the coarseness of the clay. I am pleased with the bowl though. Using the Kent clay throws up plenty of questions. I am wondering if just using the clay out of polythene bags is like preparing frozen food rather than preparing fresh. Is that a fair analogy? I am hoping to go and get some more but I may well try sieving it so that I can do finer work. I didn't even try to put script around the edge of the bowl as I knew there was too much grit in the clay to cope with it. It also makes me think I need a pug mill as all the kneading and wedging is time consuming and back aching!!
Last Saturday we went for a visit to Compton. It's a small Surrey village and a very pleasant trip if you want to get out of the house for a couple of hours. There is a chapel there built to the memory of Issac Watts. He was a Victorian painter who had celebrity status. After his death his wife, a potter built it with the help of her workers. It's all terra- cotta, pretty much every bit of it as are many of the tomb stones in the grave yard.
The top picture is Mary Wonderauch's pottery. Mary lives in Compton so I called in to see her. It was really inspirational to see all the varied work that she is still making. Most of you probably realise that if you click onto the link for Michael Kline'sbloghe has a very comprehensive list of pottery bloggers- a handy resourse. For those of you who want even more pottery blogs you can check out Kitty Shepherd's, I've only recently come across it.