Here are the details for Ceramics South East for anyone who may want to pop along. It's very hot in the studio as I fired a biscuit firing last night but I've got to get back and wedge some clay for throwing.
There always seems so many more tasks need to be done related to the pottery that aren't actually making pots! One of them this week was ordering business cards ready to go to Ceramics South East at Aylesford. I had left it fairly late and only got round to ordering them on Wednesday last week but they were with me on Saturday morning. Below are a few cutlery drainers that need to packed to come to Aylesford as well. Ceramics South East starts this Wednesday and runs through to Sunday. It's in the Priory which is a very pleasant setting so I am hoping for good weather.
On Monday I made my second trip to the Chinese visa office. Not wanting to waste a god day out I went along to the Museum of London. I just made a bee line to the medieval section to look at the pots. There weren't a huge number and they were too dark for my camera to pick out. The two pictures above show some Tudor pots. I was left feeling very disappointed and I couldn't help almost harbouring a sort of grudge against the curators and thinking that they might be keeping all the best pots hidden somewhere. (for their own pleasure of course)! So not feeling I had my pottery fix I went along to the V and A as I remembered they were opening the next phase of the ceramics galleries. Nothing had prepared me for the ballistic volley of pots that met me there. Never have I seen so many pots together. Floor to ceiling, room after room. I wasn't sure whether to jump up and down with excitement or to take cover. Of course there are thousands of wonderful pots there so I will definitely return though I cann't help thinking that being vertically challenged I'll never see any of those pots on those high shelves. ( Just a footnote to let you know I returned to visa office today and successfully retrieved visa for one 14 year old to fly out to China).
On Thursday I surveyed the pile of biscuit ware and decided that I needed to get on and get some glazing done. When I looked into the glaze bin I was alarmed to find very little glaze left so Friday I had to go to my supplier and restock. I get nearly all my materials from 'Clay Cellar' in Brentchley, Kent. It's run by Roger and Lindsey who have been looking after me for years. This time I was very restrained and only bought a few things but it doesn't matter how many tools I've got I still enjoy looking at the array of tools and materials. It's a very attractive part of the countryside where their shop is situated and you pass through very attractive Kent villages and orchards. On Thursday I also realised that Ceramics South East is only two weeks away!! The list of things to do includes taking photos for cards, planning my display, making sure I have bubble wrap and bags etc. etc.
Today I got side tracked from the orders I am doing to make this tureen. It's always a moment to hold your breath when applying slip but fortunately the handles have held their shape. Must go and clean myself up now as I never seem to avoid splashing myself with the slip.
When it comes to pottery I am still like a child in a sweet shop. I am attracted to anything made with clay, doesn't matter if it's good 'taste' or not. So when I saw this book in a charity shop I was delighted and took it home to read (look at pictures ) with a cup of coffee. It's full of wonderful ornate and sometimes bizarre pieces. I was attracted to the tureens, partly because the book says that people no longer use tureens. A quick look on ebay confirmed that this may be true as there are thousands on for sale! I am afraid to say I did buy one myself on ebay. Why? you may well ask, particularly as it isn't all that attractive. Well the stamp on the bottom says 'Brampton Burslem' ! It clearly had my name on it. I am now working on making some tureens. The idea of making something more as a centre piece that people may not use interests me also the idea that it is in some way part of a special, ceremonial meal is interesting. As you can see from the bottom picture I also bought a ladle. Below is a page from May's edition of Homes and Gardens. I bought it on a whim but was taken with this modern take on the ladle by Rachel Holian. You don't necessarily need to buy a 'ceramics' magazine to find plenty of inspiration!
Yesterday I returned the finished pottery to the school I visited before half-term. There were two sessions with children in different age groups so I decide to glaze them differently. The top two pictures show work by the younger group which I glazed with a white earthenware and added a bit of colour to bring them to life. The last picture is by the older group they were ( I think) 9 - 10 year olds. These I slipped and added a bit of colour, they have a clear glaze. There were far more pieces of work but I thought I would just show you a sample. To me the children's work always looks such fun and they always enjoy the whole process. I think we definitely need time to 'play' with clay!
It has been a busy week with the boys at home and different chores to do. Yesterday I had to go to London to get my son a visa to travel to China ( a task that was not successfully completed! ) Nevertheless, I rewarded myself with a trip to The V and A. I get excited about so many different objects. After the usual salivating over the slipware I found these more everyday objects with designs by Eric Ravilious. They have given me ideas for future work! We spent the week-end in Wales at it was my parent's 60th wedding anniversary so we called into St. Fagans. This wassail bowl was displayed in a dark corner in one of the houses. On the last day of term I taught at a local school for the morning. I had two groups of children to work with. They are children considered gifted and talented as schools have to make special provision for them. They were a most wonderful group of students but I couldn't help thinking that all children should have access to the delights of working with clay. It is one of the most engrossing activities and I have never yet met any children of any age who didn't become completely absorbed making things.