Wednesday, 5 November 2008

One week to go

Alex's pots arrived today along with some made by his student, Paul Reid.

He's a very good potter as you can see by the beautiful jugs in the picture below. He worked at Winchcombe Pottery back in the 1970's with my old friend and inspiration, the late, great Sidney Tustin.

As Dan Finnegan would likely agree, working at Winchcombe Pottery demands skills of the highest quality.



The two fine jugs won't be in this kiln, as they're still under wraps in Manchester, but will probably be in a firing at a later date - what a pair of beauties don't you think?



These pots are the ones that arrived today. They're made from the Hollyford clay that Alex took back with him last time.



In the box with the pots were these two pages of photographs taken by Steve Yates, the cameraman. They're images of medieval jugs in York Museum - wow!!!! Really inspiring, those guys made some fantastic pots, what a treat, lucky me.

Below, an enlargement of one of the images. There's fantastic applied decoration on a number of these - some of them are pretty crazy, crazy in a really good way.



I sometimes look at a book I have about Picasso's ceramics before I start decorating. I used to struggle a lot with confidence when applying marks or sprigs, but studying Picasso's freedom of mark-making helped me to loosen up. These medieval pitchers make me feel the same way - anything goes, just do it with conviction.



I made some of these simple bowls today. They'll be slipped on the inside and just over the rim - I'll leave the outside unglazed in the hope that the flame will leave some interesting 'flashing' during the firing. There was a lovely one of these in the museum in Manchester that I was looking at last week. Much force drying to do over the next couple of days if these are going to make next week's burn-up.



This jug will be green and black



This one has a white slip, over a black slip, the marks drawn through the white, to expose the black slip beneath.



Again, this week's pots are all made from Hollyford clay, which makes me a happy man.

This time next week all these pots will be in the wood kiln getting a darn good roasting - hurrah!

12 comments:

ang said...

that last one upside down is lovely, I think the different perspective allows you to appreciate the curve of the neck to body better, noice real noice...

Dan Finnegan said...

You're right, of course I'd agree! Lovely pots and what a treat those photos must be. I'm always amazed at the labor in those pots...and the fantastic detail for what was, in it's time, mass produced ware.

Margaret Brampton said...

What a treat that medieval jug is. They are just so lively ans free looking.
Your jugs have very strong forms. I'm looking forward to seeing them glazed.

potterboy said...

There some pretty awesome pots coming out of your studio at the moment. Bloody hell! Can't wait to see these pots.

Out of interest - are all those medieval jugs earthenware or are there any stoneware jugs? (I'm assuming they'd be earthenware.)

paul jessop said...

Great post Doug, so full of inspiration. those two big jugs are just stunning, craftmanship of the highest order.
and those medieval jugs !!!
and people buy plain boring stuff from Tesco's. where did life take a wrong turn?

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

its all gorgeous, just wonderful stuff

Ron said...

Those jugs look great, nice pours on that green and black one. Very cool medieval jugs, I'll be saving that and studying it for sure. I've been meaning to get the Rackham book for ages, I think I can find it through a rare book dealer.
later, ron

doug fitch said...

Cheers all, it's going to be an exciting firing. Not evrything's going to work - there are a couple of pots that probably have too much attached to them, but I figure it's best to take things too far, then work backwards. Is that jug still upside down by the time it gets to you Ang?

It is interesting Dan - I guess the attiude towards time was different in those days. Some amaaaaaaaaaaazing stuff on those pics - and the Rackham book - ooooooooooooo

All earthenware Andrew, all Hollyford earthenware - I'm proud of that, I must be getting boring! Hope to see you at/after Nic's

ang said...

yes it is, unless i stand on head....which at the best of times is how my posts should be read...

Hannah said...

I know that window behind Alex's pots! I've looked out of there many a time. Oh memories memories.

However Doug these pots look just fabulous, I am very jealous, am desperate to make some pots again, I've lots in my head but there's also quite a big order list hanging about. Maybe people would like surprise pots rather than what tehy've actually ordered. . .

potterboy said...

I meant the museum pots - not yours! I know yours are all earthenware, I wouldn't expect them to be anything else. The fact they're all Hollyford clay is an added bonus - I really can't wait to see them all, hopefully it's going to be spectacular.

Hannah said...

Sorry Alex I should have been looking at your pots not out the window! I like the left hand one, I don't feel like I've seen too many of your pots, you should get a blog!