Friday, 24 October 2008
It's been a bit of a week
This delightful gas-guzzler's been giving us trouble again. I spent yesterday morning on an industrial estate in Exeter while the man at the gearbox place investigated my slippy clutch.
The car's been nothing but trouble since we got it, but not for any longer, it's days are done. A little frustrating as we just spent £400 on it this month, £800 a couple of months ago, but it's going to cost £1000 this time, so that's the end of it, time to get a replacement, no more good money after bad. I've killed three cars in the last twelve months - that has to be unlucky.
However unlucky that is, we're very lucky to have a really good friend who is helping to sort something out for us - a real top man, thank you.
The potter's life is always a hand to mouth existence - well mine is anyway. I try and make the pots I would like to buy, then hope somebody else might like them, it's not easy. I'm also notoriously bad at getting them out there - I have loads of pots sitting on the shelf in my workshop that ought to be out for sale somewhere. I do need to become a better businessman.
It isn't just about money - of course money's essential to survive, but it's about a different quality of life - and a healthy brain. I used to work for a university and spent a year off work, rocking in a darkened room. These days I try and adopt a positive mental attitude. Once negativity creeps in, it darkens everything - it still does sometimes.
On returning from Exeter with my sickly car yesterday afternoon, I went over to the woods with my friend Different Dave, where we dug out a load of clay. It was beautiful, just the sounds of the birds, the colours of the trees with their leaves on the turn, and the musty, mossy smell of the clay - best of all, it cost nothing to be there.
This week I decided to make pots only from Hollyford clay. I haven't got many made, but it's been magical using what Michael Kline calls 'native dirt'. It has very different properties from the clay I normally use. I'd only made smaller things with it, mugs, 'tankettes' and little jugs, but today I made an eight pounder and it threw really nicely.
It'll take a while to get used to it and to discover the most effective way of using it, but I love it. I still plan to use it for the majority of my production by Christmas. I don't have the proper equipment yet to process large amounts, but the kit I do have will suffice for now as long as I keep mixing daily.
The surface of the pots looks softer for it, this is a detail of a mug I fired earlier this week in the electric kiln. I'm sure my work will change a little as I start to find more out about its properties. It contains a fine, naturally occurring sand - perfect for the job.
Off to Crediton in the morning for the closing day of Paint:Mud:Wood
Have an enjoyable weekend all.