Monday, 24 May 2010

Muddy Monday

Life's pretty busy at the moment - it feels like I've taken a bit too much on really. I'm trying to learn my lines for the summer play in the village - I have a much bigger part than I did in the panto, so I have a cd of my own voice running all day. I had to play all the parts on the cd, including the womens' roles and although it's been baking hot today, I haven't opened any of the windows incase anybody passing the workshop might hear me talking to myself in silly voices and think I've finally lost the plot. I'm having to go to rehearsals for the play twice a week. Add that to late night working on a Wednesday with Marky Mark and band practice on a Friday night, it means I'm not getting much time at home.

I've got lots going on in the workshop, with the summer shows just around the corner - The Contemporary Craft Fair is a couple of weeks away, followed by Earth and Fire at Rufford later in June. I also have an on-line exhibition with Geoff Fuller at the excellent Earthmarque Gallery, so I'm trying to make a lot of pots. I made some more of these big jugs today. I need to make some bowls this week - each time I set out to do that, I wind up making jugs.
Here are the cider jars. I decorated them at the weekend - MC style.
And some little jars today which will need lids tomorrow. Bathtime, have a good week all.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Spring Sale and Kiln Opening at Clive's

Clive and Rosie Bowen invite you to their Spring Sale and Kiln Opening.

29th May - 5th June

10am - 7pm each day

'Come and join us for a glass of wine in the garden'

Shebbear Pottery, Shebbear, Beaworthy, North Devon EX21 5QZ

1409 281271/

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Cider jars

Holed and handled
A few pictures of beautiful Devon from my walk to work and back today.

Late one

Looooooooooooong day, I've not been in long.
Somebody gave me some little wooden taps a while ago, so I made some cider jars this evening.
Marky Mark came up as usual on a Wednesday evening

I'm enjoying playing around with these dishes. When I was a student, I used a sliptrailer on all my work, but I rarely do these days, so it's been interesting to re-explore the possibiltes.

I've made about twenty four of them - some will work a lot better than others think - they'll change beyond recognition in the firing, they're bit of an unnown quantity, which is quite exciting.

A bit blurred, but still I want to eat it.

Still loads to do, back on the wheel tomorrow for some biggish one-off pieces, right now, shower and bed. Goodnight all

Monday, 17 May 2010

This, that and the other


I did this..........

and that............

on these

with this

Sunday, 16 May 2010


I've got very behind with blogging in recent days, so here's a quick catch up on what's been happening during the last week.

On Monday Different Dave and I went to Plymouth. My exhibition has finished at the Museum, so we went along to collect the pots. Thank you to everybody who bought pieces and to the staff of the Museum for inviting me to exhibit. While we were in Plymouth, DD and I went to the art college and paid a surprise visit to our old friend and former work colleague, Big Mart, the painting technician. The three of us used to spend a lot of time together over a period of many years when we all worked for the University. It was great to see him.

We came back via the scenic route, across Dartmoor and called in on my good chum Nic Collins. Here he is with a body of work that he's making for a one man show at the prestigious Goldmark Gallery.

The building with the big windows in this picture is Nic's beautiful new workshop, that he and his partner Sabine have built over the past couple of years, using traditional local materials, cob and timber.

Some tall baluster jugs. There are still a lot of pots to make before the firing, which I have had to postpone until June 2nd - the latest I dare leave it before my first show of the season, The Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey, Devon, that starts on the 11th June.

Building work has continued, fitted in around potting and when Different Dave can make it to the workshop. The front of the roof is nearly finished, the back will have to wait until I've sold some pots as I need to buy some new roofing sheets.

Wild garlic beside Hollywater Bridge

The Stitchwort is spectacular in the lanes at the moment...

as is the Red Campion.

On Friday I went out with my mate Cookie, aka Daddy Paul of the Love Daddies. He wanted to photograph some of his work and needed help to lift some of his pieces, so I got to see the inside of some fabulous country dwellings, the homes of the folk who own some of his fantastic work. The picture above was taken in his workshop, note the drums in the distance - this is where we rehearse with The Love Daddies.

This is a six foot tall cross that he carved from holly.

This chair is also made from holly and stands at one end of a huge dining table.

With this huge oak throne at the other end of the table.

Here's another holly chair, beside the pool in a different house.

Last night we were back in Paul's workshop for band practice. Our guitarist moved away a few months ago and the band almost fizzled out, but we have since breathed new life into it and enlisted the skills of my old friend, Daddy Steve, who is a keyboard player. It's a radically different sound that we're making now, I'm pleased to say though, it's still not too easy on the ears!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Techniques Using Slip

I got this book through the post earlier in the week.

The picture on the cover is the beautiful work of Yo Thom

It's a really well written publication, penned with warmth and understanding by my friend, the potter, teacher and writer, John Mathieson.

John says, 'This book was written to the music of Dave Domone, Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, Paul Mathieson, Tom Rush and John Stewart - music with the bark still on'. Love it!

It was particularly exciting to get the book, because I'm in it. This is me doing my thing.

I was really chuffed to see a picture of this pot on the frontispiece. It's the pot that I made during the filming of Hollyford Harvest and lives on a shelf above my workshop door.

Representing the USA, our very own Mr Ron Philbeck

My good chum Paul Young has a page

and the splendid Mr Dylan Bowen

and of course his father, my great hero Clive Bowen.
There are lots more potters featured in the book, historical information, glaze recipes, process instructions, loads of great pictures and much more.

I hope A&C Black forgive me for copying the images. You can(and should!) buy the book, at the bargain price of just £11.49!!!


Rainy day today in Devon
The view from the little bridge over Hollywater

I stuck bits on big jugs

and handles on little jugs

Slipped some of these too.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Another long day, just in from work a short while ago.

I'm missing the gritty brick clay that until recently, I blended into my clay. The brickworks where I used to buy it has now closed and I've only a little left that I need to finish off a tile order, so today I've been trying additions of a number of different sands in attempt to make some kind of similar clay body. This jug contains some peculiar china clay granules which almost did the job - a little too coarse maybe.

I made more of these

and some little ones too

The weather's been beautiful so I've been able to spend some time sitting on the bench, drawing. This end of the workshop's looking lovely now, the rambling rose is getting going on the walls and the apple tree behind the bench is in full bloom.

This end of the workshop, not so good, but hopefully it'll take shape in the next couple of weeks. fortunately I have a lot of wood as I'll be firing in about three weeks. This is a hugely important firing, (they all are), as it will contain pots for the summer shows and an exhibition that I have with Geoff Fuller - more about all of that later.

Here's the view from the workshop, over to the woods. The grey fleck, bottom left, is Luke's sculpture and a little further to the right is where my clay has come from. The woods have really greened up in the last few days and are full of bird song.
Well that's all for now, I need to go and get cleaned up and get some sleep.
Goodnight all