ceramics

Art in Action

I squeezed in a lovely holidayette this weekend, visiting a sunny Art in Action with my parents. It was particularly apt as we met with an uncle and aunt there and it was the first time I had visited AiA in about 20 years, the last time being to see my aunt exhibiting her amazing knitwear. In that time the show has grown massively to a rather overwhelming 41 marquees and demo stages!

Moonjar, Akiko Hirai

Moonjar, Akiko Hirai

Naturally I headed first for the ceramics marquee. As ever, everything on Akiko Hirai's stand was lovely (I wanted the whole collection), Tony Laverick's surfaces intrigued and  Tanya Gomez's colours were joyful.

once the bewliderment of so many marquees had worn off I really appreciated the range of materials styles and forms being exhibited. As well as seeing some live glassblowing, always fascinating, here's a selection of work I was especially taken by...

Still lives by  Sarah Spackman

Still lives by Sarah Spackman

Textiles by  Ekta Kaul

Textiles by Ekta Kaul

Embroidery by  Roanna Wells

Embroidery by Roanna Wells

Willow sculpture by  Lizzie Farey

Willow sculpture by Lizzie Farey

Steamed and riveted trugs by  Jane Crisp

Steamed and riveted trugs by Jane Crisp

All told it was an inspiring and re-energising weekend. Who knows what might come out of it once the mental cogs have done their spinning!

A busy week at the wheel

We're fast approaching the busiest season of the year, and production has geared up accordingly. Here are some workshop snaps to give you a taste of the work in progress.

 

Being an organiser by nature I had reviewed last year's sales and the number of events I am booked into and worked out how many pots I needed to stock. Based on those calculations I set myself a target for the week, and then pushed myself pretty hard. I'm feeling rather chuffed now that I managed to beat that target by 25%. My throwing is definitely getting faster.


Mind you, the throwing isn't the end of the story! I still have two batches of pots under wraps waiting to have their footrings turned. Then everything needs fettling (cleaning & tidying) and fully drying before they can go into the kiln.

I also received an exciting parcel this week. In it were the tea towels I designed to show the whole making process with all the steps before and after throwing. They were hand printed by a friend in rather smart charcoal on white linen, and the design uses a hand lettered version of my normal font that I drew myself. It's a bit of a departure from the wheel but I'm chuffed with them and think they make a nice complement to a pot!

New season glazing

Customers have been asking for more colours and I have a mental list of colours I want to try, but I was struggling with making enough of each form each month to have a sensible number in each colour. I had also been inspired by reading on the philosophy of wabi sabi and pondered how to bring more variation and seasonality into my work...

The answer took a spare half hour on a giant park swing whilst waiting for the library to open.

But when it hit it was obvious! 

Seasonal colours are the way forward. 

Here's the first of my new autumnal rust to celebrate. 

It was um, interesting, but not quite what I was expecting when it first came out of the kiln...

 

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So another layer of glaze went on before going back in the kiln.

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Second time out the rust effect was behaving better.

 

It takes a lot of time and experimentation to really get to know a glaze, so embarking on a whole series of new ones is asking for trouble - but I'm looking forward to it! Hopefully you all will enjoy the results. Watch this space for the next adventure in glazing...

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