Monday, 31 March 2008

More pots

A few more blurred pics of some of the pots that went to London yesterday.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Nice one Frank

All delivered and back in Devon, Frank you're a star.

Here's John Rastall outside the Harlequin Gallery. It was good to see John again, what a lovely chap. I'd never been to his gallery before. He's an interesting exhibition on at the moment of Japanese ceramics. He also has a great collection of books on ceramics and art, some of which are quite rare and all of which are for sale - very tempting.

The other pictures are of cranes and planes in Staines and Cheriton Fitzpaine's lanes.

They're only on there to show the contrast between London and where I live. Also of course, just so I could write that stupid sentence.

What a relief to have all the pots delivered. I don't enjoy driving unless it's round our leafy roads with grass growing down the middle, so Frank took a huge amount of stress away from me by doing that.

I guess it's just what you get used to, I've lived in a few cities in my life and never thought twice about driving midst the craziness. Exeter of course is a city, but it's a very small one and hasn't the intensity of traffic of many other cities. Back in my Liverpool and Derby days, the prospect of driving down single-track lanes with high banks and trees either side such as those round here would probably would have freaked me out. Perhaps I just need to try and worry less and drive more before I become a recluse - perhaps I just need to try and worry less generally. Perhaps I just need to become a recluse.

Luke's got to go to the orthodentist tomorrow to get his brace tightened poor lad. We'll have a good time in town beforehand, grab some breakfast and wander round the shops for a bit.

The rest of the week, collecting wood, mixing slip and glaze and preparing everything in readiness for an intensive period of making in a couple of weeks time.

I'll take next week off so we can do some fun family stuff and visit my parents. I'm really looking forward to that. Hil and the boys break up for their Spring holidays on Friday. We'll go to my openings too which will be both exciting and terrifying. It'll be great to catch up with a few people, including my blogging buddies. I've never met Andrew although we've known each other for quite a while on here, so that'll be cool. I'm chuffed to bits they're going to come along and support me bless 'em. I missed the last opening in Winchcombe because I got so stressed out about it I wound up with a migraine.

When we get back after all that, a kiln load of pots to make for Clay Art Wales and Bovey Tracey in not enough time - and so it starts again. I do love it though, good job really.

Happy Monday everybody

Off to London

Off to London with my mate Frank in the morning to deliver the pots to the Harlequin Gallery. Frank's a top man and always comes to the rescue when I need a hand. I'm very lucky with my friends, very lucky indeed.

I took a few blurred shots of the pots before we packed them. It's good to have the space to be able to move in the house again, it's been pot chaos here this week.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Thanks all

This is a speedy post as I've still got a night of pricing and packing ahead of me, but I want to say thanks everybody for saying all those lovely things. I feel a much more relaxed person than this time last week.

John Edgeler from The Long Room Gallery came today to collect the pots for the Winchcombe show. I can't wait to see them in a gallery environment instead of the workshop, the attic or as it has been today, the entire house in every room, on every surface. In a minute I've to go and get the London pots down and pack them ready for delivery on Sunday.

My mate and Love Daddies front man(I'll not say singer - sorry Paul) Paul Cook has just started blogging. He's a great poet and lyricist and talented wood carver. I think his posts are likely to become quite interesting as he gets the hang of this Blogger thing, check him out.

Yellow stuff

Pots(including my Dad's - Happy Birthday Dad!)

Here are a few

Thursday, 27 March 2008


All good, loads to do, check back later for more. Thank you big time Mark and Linda.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

I'm sooooooooo tiiiiiiiiiiiiiired

Job done and there's nothing more I can do.

The firing started at 8am and we finally finished stoking at 2am this morning, got home at 3am - blooming tired today.

My friend and former work colleague Linda from the University came to help. I hadn't seen Linda for ages so it was great to catch up. She's the Ceramics Technician at the Uni and makes lovely pots. I hassled her to start a blog, so hopefully soon you'll get to see what she's up to before too long - go on Linda, don't be shy. Linda's husband Paul is also a very good potter and makes wheel thrown stoneware cider bottles for commercial cider makers.

Mark came up in the evening and helped me fire until the bitter, exhausting end.

So now the wait until tomorrow afternoon when I'll slowly unbrick the door and hopefully find some very hot, shiny, new pots. These will all be brought home and added to the many pots I've been stockpiling in my attic.

John Edgeler from the Long Room Gallery in Winchcombe is coming on Friday to have a look, then on Sunday my mate Frank is going to take me and my pots to drop some of them off at John's place in Winchcombe and then on to London to drop the rest at the Harlequin Gallery

It's been crazy times.

If you would like to come to either of the Private Views, Winchcombe on Friday 4th April, or London on Sunday 13th April, drop me an email and I'll make sure you're invited.

Lighting the kiln
Mark and Linda

Sunday, 23 March 2008

All paque(d)

Happy Easter

All packed and almost ready to go, nice one Marky Mark. Everything from the bisc went in except for a couple of large jars, they'll be fired in the next kiln load for Clay Art Wales. There's all sorts in there, espresso mugs, coffee pots, jars of several sizes, bottles, jugs and platters and lots more.

Had a good gig last night. We've been working on a new set of songs and it was our first time of trying them out live. It was a good challenge, we can play the old set with our eyes closed, so we all had to really concentrate on the new tunes and it went down really well, no rotten tomatoes, phew.

I'm looking forward to a day off with the family tomorrow, it's been hard work for all of us lately so we're going to Exeter for lunch in town, then to the cinema. I'll have to pop up to the workshop in the evening to brick the door up. I was too tired to do it tonight and I'd had enough so tomorrow evening will have to do. The burner will have to go in then too, to dry stuff out ready for the big burn up on Tuesday.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Here's the bisc kiln and some of the pots unpacked and awaiting glazing.

The grey pot is my Dad's jug, all glazed and ready to go. It'll be yellow when it's fired.

I managed to get most of the pots glazed yesterday and today, the rest I'll finish tomorrow afternoon before packing them into the kiln in the evening. Glazing has to be my least favourite job.

Mark's going to come up and help pack the kiln again, what a star.

Well, I'd better go get cleaned up and slip into my glitter suit ready for tonight's gig.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Going Modern and Being British

I got all the wood sorted out today ready for Tuesday's firing. Well, when I say 'sorted' I mean spread out in the workshop in every space available to allow the air to get to it, some of it's a bit damp and I need it to be completely bone dry before Tuesday. I'll unpack bisc tomorrow and do the glazing midst the chaos, remembering to use the right glaze this time.

The picture is the cover of a book to which I contributed an essay years ago. I co-curated an exhibition of the same title, at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and the book accompanied the exhibition. You can buy it from Amazon, or get it here for free. I haven't read it for years so as far as I know it might be absolute rubbish, but I found it on this site last night and thought I'd share it with you.

Somebody who follows this blog called by the workshop yesterday when I wasn't there, sorry I missed you. Why not pop by and see the firing on Tuesday? Drop me an email and we can make a plan. Off to band practice, got a gig on Saturday night - too much to do!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


The bisc's fired. I started at 8am after preheating with gas overnight. Blogger Paul came up in the morning and helped fire through the day, thanks Paul for the help and the great company. Marky Mark and Cookie joined me for the evening shift and we reached temperature at about 10pm, sealed up the kiln and got home about an hour later. I want to try and get it out tomorrow if possible so that I can start glazing ready for packing on Sunday and firing on Tuesday.

I forgot to take my camera but here's a bit of video from a firing last summer with Mark stoking firebox 1.

I've taken today off for a rest and to prepare Hil's birthday tea ready for when she gets in from work. Happy Birthday Hil, love you.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Boring bisc no.2

Another very busy weekend. I took delivery of some beautiful but battered Edwin Beer Fishley troughs on Saturday. They were made in the nineteenth century at the Fremington Pottery in North Devon, the wares of which has been very influential on my work. I'll try and get a picture of them up at a later date.

I had to work late on Saturday night finishing the last of the pots that got packed into the kiln today with help from good ol' Marky Mark. All is ready for the next bisc which will be on Tuesday.

Ii's a relief to have reached firing time, because that's that, I can't make any more pots so I've got to go with what I have. Let's just hope I can get them all fired successfully.

This evening we went up to Nic and Sabine's place on Dartmoor. I love it at their place and it was great to see them. They're building a new workshop from cob, the traditional local building material - basically mud and straw. It's going to be beautiful when it's finished.

Tidying up tomorrow, what a mess my workshop is at the moment - and getting the wood ready for Tuesday.

I'm very tired so that's me for now, happy Monday everybody.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Thank you Michael

I had a parcel today from Michael Kline in the USA. Inside was this beautiful little beaker and a clay sample from Michael's place in North Carolina, thank you Michael very much.

The unsavoury picture shows Michael's clay on the right, a real piece of America and the smaller lump on the left is Hollyford clay. I'll have to get a piece of Devon off to you some time soon Michael. A strange and wonderful feeling to have a lump of North Carolina in my hand.

Things seem chaotic at the moment and I'm so tired. It's been hard work getting another kiln load of pots together in such a short time, but I've done it and more. There are pots everywhere. Today was the last making day, finishing and decorating tomorrow.

Mark's coming up on Sunday and we'll start to pack the bisc ready for firing on Tuesday.

I'm worried I don't have enough wood. I've got loads of it outside but the high winds of the past few days have blown my tarps away and so any back up supply is soaking. Nic's going to come on Tuesday to help and he's bringing his oil burner, that'll save on wood, I'll be interested to see how it works.


Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A birthday blog

Ron is the grand old age of thirty eight today, happy birthday Ron, here's a slipware cake for you.

And here is my Dad's birthday jug with a fresh coat of white slip.

Loads of finishing today, lids for the double jam pots thrown, turned and knobs thrown on, yesterday's jugs all handled.

Another good making day tomorrow and Marky Mark for company during the evening, I look forward to that.