Sunday, 14 December 2008

A weekend in Cornwall



Just got home after a lovely weekend visiting my old school mate 'Frank' - he's not really called Frank, that's his nick name from school days, I have no idea why. He's actually called Andrew Grundon and he's a very talented signwriter. He paints the signs for St Austell Brewery. This is him in Saturday's Western Morning News.

And here is their slide show of his remarkable work






He lives right in the heart of some beautiful Cornish countryside - china clay country. This is what you'll find just below the surface of the soil not far from his house.



These big chimneys are part of some huge drying sheds, now derelict, that were used for drying out the china clay after it was mined from the hillside.



His house is one of a remote terrace of old clay workers' cottages, at a place called Claylands, a few hundred yards from Michael Cardew's Wenford Bridge Pottery. The pottery is now no longer operating and has become a private residence, however I know the guy who owns it so got in there this weekend.


I went there once nine years ago and Seth Cardew gave my boys a lump of clay to play with. Ever since, Joe has questioned whether his milk jug ever got fired.



Would you believe it, there it was, along with a load of bisc fired pots from the last ever firing, sitting on the shelf.



Fancy that, he's thirteen now, he was four when he made it. He was really chuffed to get his pot after all these years.

15 comments:

Hannah said...

Oh wow! that's brill, he'll be thrilled having that fired. How exciting.

Ron said...

Wow, all dated and signed too. Good job Joe.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Like all Americans raised on Leach and Cardew, I wanted to move to Cornwall and get into the middle of all that......

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

and thanks for the music tip, I posted it of course!

Jude said...

I was taught by Seth and can imagine him leaving stuff around..
I'm so glad I found your blog, brings back loads of old memories of another time. I saw the Isaac Button film when I was studying ceramics in Falmouth, brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug, me and Sue called in there a year or so ago, and as you say, it's all closed up as a pottery, but we went to the tea rooms next door and had a look from their garden through the window into the old kiln room. We probably saw the pot there on the shelf! Thanks for showing my picture, at last! I'm published!

Derby Dave

paul jessop said...

That is just a fab story about the pot. he must be well chuffed.

Brad Lail said...

That is pretty sweet, but I dont think it is big enough for the amount of custard he drinks in one sitting. haha. Did you take any of the china clay home with you? I am sure you could find some kind of use for it. Maybe for some great glazes or slips. I am so glad to be home now, but now I have to answer the good question you asked earlier. What will be the name of the new blog? ahhhh! cant wait to hear from ya.
Brad

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I, um, wrote a post about you today because I didn't have anything new to say myself :)

Lynda said...

Hi, thanks for the tour... I am here via Gary's blog - I am glad he sent us your way.

doug fitch said...

Hello all. Thanks for calling by . Jude I'd love to know more about your time at Wenford. Lynda, thank you for coming - that Mr Rith is a fine fellow. DD, the tea rooms has closed now too, shame, it's all a bit sad really.

doug fitch said...

Brad, no I didn't, but I will next time I go

Anonymous said...

GREAT PAIR OF LEAF PATTERNED JUGS FROM YOUR LAST (? )FIRING ARE THE PUZZLE JUG AND THE TOP PALER YELLOW JUG FOR SALE?

CARO HARWOOD SUSSEX

doug fitch said...

Hello Caro(l), thank you for dropping by, sorry it's taken me so lonfg to get back to you. They're all sold, I'm afraid, but there'll be more in my next firing on 30th Jan. If you drop me an email, I'll send you pictures through as soon as they come out. Best wishes, Doug

doug fitch said...

Sorry Caro(l), my email address is dougfitch@fsmail.net