Thursday 28 February 2008

A visit from Blogger Paul

I had a visit today from Blogger Paul and his partner Marion, it was good to see them and a lovely surprise. I also had a natter with Blogger Matt on the phone. Tonight I logged on to Ron's blog and he's got a movie clip on there with him talking away, which was brilliant to see, now I know how fast he can move and what he sounds like.

This blogging site is a very important part of my life in the Pottery because although I work in solitude, I get to share my workshop with others and they share theirs with me. All of us in our little network recognise how valuable this support structure is. I'd love to hear from anybody else who reads this rubbish too, potters or non-potters, it's quite straightforward via the 'comments' facility.

My bird table's been madly busy again today. I never feel too lonely in the workshop, particularly when there's plenty going on out there. It's situated just outside the window infront of my wheel, so I'm able to sit at the wheel and watch the birds sort out their pecking order. Some of them can get quite stroppy. They cost me a fortune to feed and eat better than we do at home, but they're wonderful to watch and I become more fascinated by the day.

There a lot of different species that come to visit and the array of colours in their plumage is stunning, particularly when you've got a group of them on there. I have one little Chaffinch with a broken leg that comes every day for a good feast. On Tuesday a Nuthatch came to visit, which is the first time I'd ever seen one and today it's been back again - what a striking little bird. I tried to get a shot of it on Tuesday but my camera is so slow that I ended up with over a dozen pictures of an empty bird table, but today I was luckier.

Happily, it's been a good making day today, five 15lb jars - another to make in the morning. These will soon fill up the next bisc kiln, I'm really pleased with them. More biggish pots tomorrow. I don't have a working pugmill so all my brickclay has to be blended and kneaded with my smooth clay by hand. That certainly reminds me that I worked for too many years in a cushy job at the Uni, particularly when I'm kneading up loads of 15lb balls. Forty three's a bit late in life to be having to start growing muscles, I've become much stronger in the last year, but I'm still more Mr Puniverse than Mr Universe.

Recently I've been a bit low and my confidence dipped again, I think it's just a bit of anxiety so I'm pleased that stuff's gone well today. I find putting my work out in public quite frightening - guess it's one of those things you just get used to. Yesterday's restful time at home helped a lot I think as I went in with a much more positive head from the outset today. The knowledge that the bisc is done must be a contributing factor too.

I didn't unbrick the kiln today although it would have been cool enough, a peep through the spyhole didn't tell me much, other than it's fired - it's just a boring old bisc firing so there's no great excitment and if it's not worked, well I'd rather not know quite yet!

I need to concentrate on making pots for a couple of days to allow for drying time for the next bisc. I'll get on to glazing pots on Monday, by then there'll be plenty of new ones on the shelf and a bit of weight off my mind. This blog's a right ramble tonight, I do apologise, enough already!


ang design said...

hey doug, since you invited comments just thought I'd let you know i check out your blog at breakie most days, your work has been really inspiring to me. I've got stuck into making a lot more work and become a blogger myself since late last year.......word got around here in adelaide at a workshop in town with Jack Doherty about your blog. so your famous across the other side of the planet, nice work!!....ang

Sister Creek Potter said...

I really enjoy your sharing your 'process' with us. Your ups and your downs make your blog very real. And I love having 2 buddies across the pond (you and Andrew)--it is a real treasure for me. I dream of dropping in to your studio one day and surprising you with a face-to-face visit. Wouldn't that be great! Gay

Paul Jessop said...

Hi Doug Oddie, it was great to see you yesterday Marion realy enjoyed it, she said to say thanks for the Bucket of good English Tea.
Thanks for the tips as well. don't let that wood pecker get at your nuts!!

doug Fitch said...

Thanks all. Gay, I look forward to you getting clay under your nails again soon, it seems it's all about to happen. I've been keeping an eye on you from over here. Thanks for checking in Ang, I've been wondering who the red dot is on my Clustermap thing, great to be in touch with somebody on the other side of the world. Blogger Matt and I looked in on you when he was here last and we enjoyed your pirate party - crazy Aussies! That was kind of Jack Doherty - unless he was saying 'check out this bungling idiot in England and see how not to do it'! I like Jack's work very much and I've seen him around at events but never had a chat, I'm chuffed he even knows who I am. I'll go and see him at the next event and say Hi. Paul, no recent pecker action I'm sad to say.

ang design said...

its actually a bunch of us who being in a small city but only meet at workshops at the jam factory or exhibition openings...oops miss spoke perhaps, jack was throwing we were chatting away about you, so we may have introduced your blog to him?? he's really cool and v.generous with his knowledge on soda firing..

doug Fitch said...

Hi Ang
Well thanks for telling Jack about me, hope your day was good.