That was a really, really lovely weekend with all of my family and in spite of my customary migraine attack(I forgot to take my pills with me too - doh), we had a really fantastic time.
This is a little jug I made for my Dad.
My parents have so many of my pots, they've barely room for any more, so this was just a little one, but the sentiment was big.
So back to work today and a small package waiting for me on the imaginary workshop doormat this morning. What was it? A Wedgwood egg cup and funky little egg cosy - my Dorset Cereals Blogger Award - well look at lucky me!
Thank you Paul for nominating me, thank you everybody for voting for me and thank you Dorset Cereals for the prize. I have a crate of cereals to look forward to in the next few days too, hurrah, how healthy I will be.
Please don't forget to vote for Hannah to win this month's award, right here. Oh and be sure to buy lots of Dorset Cereal, the blogger's breakfast of choice :-)
Also on the 'doormat' this morning was this letter from Barry Wilson at Earthmarque. I was really chuffed to be asked to be included in this show which is entitled Great British Potters. I know I'm not great, it's just that I'm from Great Britain, but it sounds good and the letter put a big smile on my face when I read it!
Today saw final slippings of pots - actually, not entirely true, this will need another coat tomorrow and it'll need a bit of force drying too if it's to make the firing at the weekend. There's still a fair bit of sgrafitto to do too.
Here's some stuff awaiting bisc firing. These will be glazed inside and just over the rim, with the outsides left predominantly bare. I'm hoping they'll get some good 'flashing' marks from the flame licking across the naked clay.
Different Dave came by today and we cracked on with sorting things outside. I bricked up the door of the kiln and we got some good fires burning in the damp fireboxes throughout the day, burning a lot of scrap wood which had been saved for this job. The kiln is soooooooooo damp, it hasn't been fired since June, so there were plumes of steam and smoke - apologies to my neighbours.
By the time I left this evening, it had reached about 700 degrees and the damp brickwork of the fireboxes was feeling warm. It should be well dried out by the weekend, which is essential - my glazes blister and bubble if the kiln is wet. Six days until firing time and new pots next week - hurrah! I have no finished pots left on the shelves at all, so I hope it's a good firing or I'm in trouble.
Different Dave and I finished digging the drainage trench that had been started back before the winter froze the ground solid. We laid in some drainage pipe to carry away rain water to a soak-away trench that will be back filled with shards of pottery - no shortage of those. At present, this outside area has all the components of a good gypsy site, amongst much other hoarded junk are sheets of rusty corrugated steel, an empty, weathered gas cylinder and an old Ford Transit wheel - how picturesque - not.
During the next couple of days we'll be putting up some legs, a roof and a concrete slab upon which I can cut and stack timber out of the rain. It's great to be getting on to the final part of the workshop redevelopment - I aim to have it all finished within the next month or so, with a new woodshed and some more flowerbeds to plant and tend for the new season - I love gardening almost(sometimes more) than potting.
Hannah arrives on Wednesday, all the way from Scotland, to help fire the kiln - oh and to do loads of glazing, sorry H ;-)
There's going to be some filming of the firing at the weekend - more about that later, so it'll be good to have the place looking tidy.
Well that's all for now, hope you've all had a good start to the week, bye for now.
PS Happy Birthday wishes to my old mate Allen Rotten