Sunday 17 January 2010


Life has been very, very busy of late - panto, reorganising the workshop and trying to assemble all my paperwork for my bookkeeper who has the challenge of getting everything in order for my tax return that's due in at the end of the month.

Inside the workshop is almost ready for production. It'll never be completely tidy - I'm just not that kinda guy,

but for the first time ever, because of the extra space in the new extensions, there's a proper system. I've been determined not to start making in quantity until such time as everything is organised. Mr Cardew's wheel in the middle, dwarfs my other two wheels.

Outside is still a mess and now that the weather's improved I'm going to crack on getting it tidied up, with a new woodshed and an undercover area to cut and stack wood. The wood in the foreground is some trimmings that I had delivered recently from a local saw mill. It's what is know by my firing team at Hollyford as 'party wood' because of the excited manner with which it combusts when stoked into a hot firebox.

The snow set me back a week which has been truly frustrating - it got me quite stressed and depressed because I was slipping further and further behind. Thankfully it's all but gone now, with just a few traces left on high ground.

This is a picture taken a couple of weeks ago by Alex who lives at Hollyford - my poor little car well and truly stuck.

Apologies to anyone who tried to ring me last week, I've been so anxious about the workshop not being sorted and the resulting lack of production, that I've had the phone unplugged. It allowed me to concentrate on getting the place organised without interruption. I'll be back in touch with the world this week.

It's good to see the green fields out of the window again instead of snow.

I've been struggling to get excited about making, but now that the place has some kind of order to it, I'm beginning to look forward to getting stuck in. It seems like ages since my shelves were laden with wet pots. I'm going to get my hand back in making mugs and bowls this week. My next wood firing is going to be in mid March, so lots and lots of pots to make.

The pantomime has been taking a lot of time as it draws towards opening night(Friday), with rehearsals this afternoon and on three nights in the forthcoming week. I'm loving it. It's been great to get to know a bunch of new people and I'm hoping it will all help with confidence when having to demo in public. I'm still faltering over some of my lines though, so more practice required. We all got our costumes today. As the Grand Wazir, I have a rather tasty green and gold tunic, a lovely bit of fabric.

I was supposed to be helping Malcolm the Producer, make props yesterday, but as it turned out I had so much to do and had to go to work and continue clearing up the workshop instead. My chum Clarkey came by and kept me company while I worked and we listened to the match on Radio Devon - the splendid Exeter City F C, drubbing Leeds United, 2-0, hurrah! I enjoy listening to City playing footy on a Saturday afternoon in the workshop, so the footy, many cups of tea, warmth from the new burner and good company from my old mate Clarkey, made weekend working very pleasant.

I worked on into the evening and blended loads of clay ready to knead up tomorrow for the week's making. That was a job I'd been putting off - I have a lot of tough clay which I mixed with a lot of soft clay. I also put sgrafitto hearts onto the Shrine of Love chalices - my pots look very odd with hearts on. I'll get them fired just in time for the dressed rehearsal on Wednesday evening - I'll try and get some pictures of them in action.

Well that's enough rambling, time for bed. Have a good week all, bye for now.


Ron said...

Good luck with the week. I'm going to have to get cranking too. Who's gonna make pots on all those wheels??? ;-) Ha. Good you can have a fellow potter show up now and again to work alongside.

Hollis Engley said...

You're a busy lad, Doug. And the lovely little mug showed up Saturday, just in time to make a guest appearance at our favorite Sunday morning coffee stop, where it was much admired. Thanks so much, Doug. And another Happy New Year to you.

ang design said...

yeh just not on the cardew wheel ron unless folks have really loooooong legs!!! nice setup there mr fitch!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

tidy? BAH!

Anonymous said...

what a great shot of the studio... my romantic vision of a potter's digs fulfilled