Friday, 29 August 2008

Nic and the kiln builders

I had a visit today from Nic and the students from his kiln building course, including Blogger Andrew.

They'd been to Svend's amazing workshop in the morning so I think my place must have been something of a contrast. My little shed was bursting at the seams.

I'll see them all again tomorrow at Nic's party where I'll be playing with The Love Daddies. We played our first gig there five years ago, so it's the Daddies' fifth anniversary gig as well as a shin-dig to celebrate Nic's fiftieth year. I think Bloggers Matt and Paul are coming along too with their good ladies.

Also my old college chum Simon Hancox who will be delivering his harvest jugs for next week's firing, it'll be cool to see him.

Luke, my fifteen year old, has a band with his mates called the Trilbies and they're our support act. It'll be their debut gig so they've been praticing hard. I think they're all a little nervous, but they'll be fine. I'm really, really proud of him of course

Still not a lot of pot action in the workshop. I got the mugs that I made earlier in the week handled and sprigged(they're upturned in the picture to aid drying). I can't wait to get back into production again, although it won't be for a few days yet.

Next week I'll be spending a lot of time in Bideford, packing and firing the bottle kiln full of harvest jugs.

Hannah's coming on Monday to be part of the event too.

Finally, here's a shot of my little garden. There's been so much rain that everything's grown like crazy.

Happy weekend all.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Hoorah, made some pots

Just a few mugs, but it's a start.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Aaaaaaaarvest jugs

Mike Dodd and Debbie Mitchell came by today to drop off their harvest jugs for the Bideford firing. That means we've got jugs from quite a few potter's now, I'll get a full list on here later in the week. It's going to be a very significant event - a Mike Dodd slipware jug, how rare is that?

I'm hoping to get a few mugs made tomorrow. I need to get back on to proper working days again soon, the shelves are empty of wet pots and I always get a feeling of terrible anxiety when it's like that.

That's not to say I haven't enjoyed the break, it's been good to have a rest and to spend time with the boys while they're still happy to holiday with us. They're going to want to do their own thing soon. We're all pretty knackered still from the weekend, you certainly don't get much sleep on a festival campsite. So I neeeed to go to bed.

Check out the bloggerware in action on that photo.

Monday, 25 August 2008

The Love Daddies at play

The Love Daddies spreading the word of love.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Making a puzzle jug #4

The spouts are applied, then holes are cut into the neck to create the puzzle of how to get the fluid out of the jug. A secret hole is pierced under the handle, which when not covered with a finger, breaks the syphon, making the riddle complete. They sure knew how to have a good time in the Middle Ages.

I went to the workshop tonight to get a photgraph of the fully constructed pot which has now been decorated and slipped, but the battery ran out on my camera so it'll have to wait.

Off to the Aeon Festival tomorrow for the weekend. I'm playing there on the main stage with the Love Daddies on Sunday afternoon at 3.30, come along if you can make it, then run off afterwards to my opening at The Imagine Gallery, - me, me, me!

Making lots of pots next week, see it all happen here - woooohooo!

Happy weekend all

Making a puzzle jug #3

The handle and spouts are made by pushing a stick through a sausage of clay, then rolling, so that it thins the walls of the tube from the inside and the outside. The handle is then joined.

Making a puzzle jug #2

Holes are cut into the hollow rim, three on the top that will be for the spouts, then one on the back, where the top of the handle will be joined.

The second picture shows a hole being cut into the body of the pot. The base of the hollow handle will be joined here.

Making a puzzle jug #1

I made a puzzle jug earlier in the week for firing in the Bideford kiln. I haven't had any wet clay on here for ages, so here's a whole making sequence to make up for it.

The following three images show how the rim is thinned, then folded over, then tucked in to form a hollow rim that the fluid will be sucked through later. It's quite tricky getting this bit right.

Friday, 22 August 2008

The mystery of the bottle

Thank you Linda for solving the mystery of the maker of the small bottle(jug) on the Somerset recipe book. It was Linda's husband Paul Wilson.

Paul runs a pottery here in Devon and makes a whole range of traditional cream and brown stonewares. He specialises in cider bottles and cider drinking vessels - the West Country's famous for cider. I've never been to his pottery, but I'd like to pay him a visit sometime.

I used to work with Linda at the Uni, she was the ceramics technician - a very clever lady who can turn her hand to any ceramic process. Not just that, she can give you the answer to any technical question you may have - I think we need to get her blogging, it'd be a hotline I'm sure.

Here's a picture of a couple of Paul's customers with one of his mugs. I'm sure that lady's wearing my dad's old driving gloves.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Coooooooooook Boooooooooooooooook

I bought this recipe book while we were in Cheddar yesterday, featuring recipe's from Blogger Paul's neck of the woods.

It's a pressie for Nic because there's one of his fine jugs(pitchers!) on the cover. The pot in the middle's one of Johnny Leach's, I don't know who made the bottle(jug)on the right.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A Harvest of Jugs

More info later. Off for a day out to Cheddar Gorge.

Earthworks opening on Sunday

The Earthworks exhibition opens at the Imagine Gallery in Long Melford on Sunday 12.00 noon - 4.00pm.

If anybody can make it along I know John Foley the gallery owner will ensure a warm and wine-fuelled welcome.

Here are some pics of the invitation.

It's going to be an interesting show and I feel very privileged to be sharing the company of my fellow exhibitors.

There will be work by renowned painter

Michael Carlo

and potters

Clive Davis

Adam Frew

Mark Griffiths

Lisa Hammond

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Back to work - just for a day

Got back in the workshop today, tidied up with Hil's help then worked on this evening with Marky Mark. I didn't get as much made as I would have liked, but I did manage to get this puzzle jug thrown and assembled for the Bideford event. Off tomorrow for a day out with Hil and the boys.

Holidays in the sun

Well we did get one day without rain, here's a picture to prove it - the rest of the week was a wash-out, so we got very good at Monopoly.

Soggy but back

Well the weather wasn't very kind to us while we were away, but we had a great time nevertheless. I'm still on holiday this week, although I have to work today in order to get some last minute pots together for the Harvest Jug event in Bideford in a couple of weeks time. I'll post more details about the event later, it's going to be a good one. I've a whole stack of emails to reply to aswell, so please bear with, I'll be getting up to date later on.

These pictures are from my friend and fellow Love Daddy, Paul Cook's workshop - Johnny took them for him. I'm going to be doing a show with Paul in October so I'm off to his workshop shortly, en route to mine, to plan a collaborative project - more details of that later too. His workshop is about three miles from mine, down the leafy lanes. Marky Mark's coming up this evening and we'll work on into the night so that I can get the rest of the week off with the family - various outings are planned.

The timber in this amazing carving is an old lintel from an ancient dwelling which was listed in the Domesday Book, so just imagine how many hundreds of years have passed since the tree was a sapling. Anyway, got to fly but I've lots to report so check back later. Have a good day all.

ps Paul Has a blog called Wood Art Words but he's currently off-line. If you would like to contact him, drop me an email and I can put you in touch.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Imagine Gallery

Here's a crazy pot which is going to my next exhibition at the Imagine Gallery in Suffolk, opening on Sunday 24th August. I'll post more details of the show later.

Pots like this were used in the houses of medieval England, to keep the dust down on the earth floors. I can't imagine my ones ever getting used, but they're good fun to make and some folks seem to like them. Medieval pots are so full of character.

One of the bowls in the World of Interiors Mag is going to be in the Imagine show too, one bowl's going to My Auntie Daphne for her eighty-first birthday and the other to my brother tomorrow for towing a caravan to a site in South Devon for us, because tomorrow we're off for a rainy week by the seaside - woohoo, happy holidays!!

Claim to fame

I've not updated this for few days, it's been a bit of a time of recovery from the last few weeks of hard toil in the workshop - time for the family and for sleeeeeeeeeeeping.

Yesterday I bought a copy of the September issue of World of Interiors Magazine. Here it is open on the page with pots by Paul Young, Hannah McAndrew and me - what a posh mag for a bunch of ruffians like us!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Gnarly dudes for sale

My great friend Nic Collins has just added a saleroom to his web site.

Nic's my favourite potter, always ground-breaking and never compromising, I love his pots.

Although his work is made by processes typical of the Orient, I think his pots are much more about his rugged Dartmoor suroundings.

I find his work and spirit really inspiring, he's the geezer.

Check out his saleroom here.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008




and more

Big jugs

Some more

Some pots

I went to see my friend Johnny today to collect a disc of images that he shot the other day. Here are a few of them.