Monday 28 September 2009

Harvest Jug

This is a big harvest jug that I delivered today to the gallery in Bath. It's the biggest one I've made at approx 18.5" and is going to be featured in a book that my chum Nic is writing. It took ages to do.

The inscription on the back is taken from an old North Devon jug and reads:

When I was in my native place
I was a lump of clay
And digged up out of the Earth
And brought from thence away
But now I am a jug became
By potter's art and skill
And I your servant am become
And carry ale I will

I'll get some more images on here of some of the other pots when I can work out how to open the files - it's a mac/pc thing - wish I was a compoooter boffin.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Back in the land of blog

Hello everybody, yes, yes, I've been a bad blogger, sorry. Things have been so busy lately and I've been working long, long hours, making a bunch of new pots for an exhibition in Bath, that I'm delivering tomorrow to the Rostra and Rooksmoor Gallery. The pots include a massive harvest jug that I've been sgrafitto decorating until the wee small hours, night after night. It's come out a treat though, so it's been worth the effort.

My computer's been playing up too(blog writing takes forever) and I've had email troubles - the stupid machine won't let me send replies, so please forgive me if you're waiting to hear from me. I'm not very good with computer stuff, but I've been trying to uninstall some of the many redundant programmes that the boys have put on here and since abandoned now that they have their own laptops. Hopefully it'll work better for me and I can start to catch up with things a bit.

Here are a few snapshots of what's been happening.

Last weekend Hil and I went to the opening of the Somerset Arts Week show at Blogger Paul's that I spoke of in my previous post. It was a really good, well supported event and Paul and Marion were great hosts. The red wine flowed and I felt just a little bit rough the next day that's for sure.

The show continues for another week - great to hear that Johnny Leach has been in to see it.

I forgot to take my camera, but there are some good pictures of the evening right here.

This picture is for Dave and Sue. They're ready whenever you can get here for them - it's cat crazy here at the moment.

We've had amazing weather for the last ten days or so, beautiful sunshine ripening the apples in the orchards and the berries in the hedgerows.

I love shiny conkers when the shells are freshly opened.

It's been a great year for sloes - there were hardly any last year. Not that I care, I don't like 'em!

The orchards smell incredible and are alive with the sound of drunken wasps and flies, feasting on the decaying fruit in the autumn sunshine.

The decoration on the big jug in this picture was inspired by the brambles in the hedgerow. The peculiar spouted vessel is an interpretation of a medieval pot in the York Museum.

These baluster jugs range from approx 20" down to 12".

Here they are slipped.

My friend and photographer Johnny came over during the week to document the pots that I'm taking to the show tomorrow. I've got the images on a disc, but I can't open it - I'll try again tomorrow night.

Lots of orders to make this week, including plates and a sgrafitto harvest jug with a maritime scene derived from the paintings of Alfred Wallace, which will be an interesting challenge.

Well I must pack these pots away in readiness for tomorrow's journey, they're are currently strewn across my living room floor which is also overrun with crazy kittens - dangerous.

Happy Monday everybody.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Blogger Paul Jessop's and Somerset Art Weeks

I'm taking part in an exhibition at Blogger Paul's place as part of Somerset Art Weeks, which opens on Friday. Please come if you can, details below of the Private View.

If you are able to come to the PV, please would you be so kind to let Paul know(his contact details are on the invitation above), so that everybody can be catered for in terms of wine and nibbles, thanks.

Hope to see some of you there on Friday.

Have a good day all, back later with pics of pots and my new floor - wooohoo!!

Friday 11 September 2009


What a busy week of potting and digging.

The weather's been amazing - the final throws of summer. We haven't had much sunshine at all this year, so I think I probably enjoy the fine weather all the more when we do get some, just because of the novelty of it.

Certainly the blackberries in the hedgerow need some warm rays to ripen them up. I'm thinking that I may try and make some blackberry wine this year - bet I'll live to regret that.

Dave and I didn't manage to get the floor down - we'll do that next week hopefully, but Dave has done an amazing job of getting it all level and ready for the concrete to be poured.

I'm still in the midst of a frenzy of pot making. Here are a few shots of some of the stuff that's happening.

Biscuitware jars.

Big jugs in the sunshine - not something you see often in this country.

An assortment of tankards, freshly slipped. These are an order from a gliding club for prizes - they'll be sgrafittoed with a load of text and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc., hence the different sizes.

Baluster jugs.

A package came in the post today. It contained the final cut of the film that Alex McErlain and his team from Manchester Metropolitan Uni shot at my place during the last year.

The film's been submitted to the Seventh International Film Festival on Clay and Glass, which is scheduled to be held in Montpellier, France in 2010.

I think it's pretty normal to hate the sound of one's own voice, but that aside, it's a really great little film that captures the essence of what happens at Hollyford really well. It even features the Love Daddies, Marky Mark and Blogger Matt - quite a chick flick really. I'll try and post a short snippet of it at some stage soon.

Well, work for me in the morning so I'll sign out for now as it's late.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Tuesday 8 September 2009


Evenin' all.

I haven't been on here for ages - life's really busy at the moment with lots going on.

Hil and the boys are back at school for the new term and I'm right back into potting again. It's been a long time since I made anything. Jess was with me today, everything is starting to settle back into routine.

I feel a lot better for a break and the opportunity to recharge. It's been good to step away from my work for a while, now I can get back to it reinvigorated and inspired - I hate to be just going through the motions - I need to feel excited about making stuff, or I wind up feeling dissatisfied with what I've made.

It's been a great break, in spite of the English climate - thanks to all who helped to make it such a good summer.

I got my car back all mended on Monday, hurrah, a big thank you Jeff for coming to the rescue once again. It's fab to have it back and running sweet as a nut, I like my little car a lot.

The last few days Different Dave has been sorting out my floor in the sheds. There's a lot of water running underneath the building as it's built on sloping ground, so considerable digging was required to run a drain, out into a soak-away. It's going to make such a difference to the way my workshop will operate when this ramshackle building project is finished. It won't be too long now.

Dave's done an amazing job, it looks like this now, all ready for concreting - hopefully at the end of this week. I can't wait to turn the disruption and chaos, into well organised and useful space.

I've been working late, frantically making pots for a show I have with Blogger Paul for Somerset Art Week(full details to follow, but click Paul's link to find out more).

I also have a show that opens next month at the Rostra and Rooksmoor Gallery in Bath, so I'm making stuff for that too. I always work best under pressure.

I'm enjoying making these big jugs at the moment, with the clay grogged right up with coarse brick clay.

I love the texture that occurs when the clay is stretched on bellied forms such as these.

So all's good and happy in my world at the moment - I had a bit of seasonally related 'funny head' time, but I'm over that now and feel good, but tired.

My only frustration is that this computer is so slow now that it's driving me crazy - it's a case of type, then wait for the text to catch up on the screen, so please excuse me for being elusive in the virtual world, I need to get it sorted.

Well I'm, exhausted so I need to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep right now, goodnight everybody and a happy Wednesday to you all.