Friday 31 December 2010

New year, old pictures

Hello everybody.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly have had a lovely time and have gained half a stone, so I need to get back to work soon to work it off.

I'm pleased to say, all our snow has gone, so I'll be able to get to the workshop with ease when I start back next week. I managed to get a lift up there on Boxing Day with a friend who has a Land Rover, which meant that I was able to retrieve my camera, so I have some out of date pictures to share with you.
This is a huge blunger which has been given to me by Peter Swanson, a fabulous potter who lives near Penzance, over the border in Cornwall. In the picture is my chum Frank.

A couple of weeks ago, we travelled down to Peter's place in Frank's van, to collect the blunger. What a nightmare, it had rusted up, so we couldn't get it apart. It was too tall to fit through Peter's door in one piece and mighty heavy too, so after much cursing, hammering, further cursing and harder hammering and harder cursing still, we had to abandon it. We'll go back and try again soon, with more muscle, bigger hammers and louder cursing.

I'm really looking forward to getting this fantastic machine back to Hollyford as I'll be putting my native clay processing system in place in the next few weeks. This blunger will mix half a tonne of clay into slip, enabling me to sieve out any debris, before drying it back out, into plastic clay. It is something really exciting, to be fully self sufficient in clay, from the field beside the workshop.
The next two pictures were taken at the group exhibition I was in, on the outskirts of Cambridge just before Christmas. On the left, painter Simon Jowitt and on the right, my big brother. These two have been friends nearly all their lives. I hardly took any photographs at the show.
Here's one of the big harvest jugs from the last firing that now has a new home.

Here are some shots of the fieldfare puzzle jug that I wrote about in a recent post, glazed and finished.
It is most certainly a winter pot, with just one leaf and one apple on the trees.

Well, that's almost it for now, new pots to come next week. I want to end by thanking a lot of special people.

A big thank you to everybody who has supported me in the past twelve months, through buying my pots. I hope the pots continue to give you pleasure.

Many thanks to those who have helped me develop the workshop, Different Dave, Croydon Tim, Marky Mark and Frank.

Big, big thanks to Matt and Alex, who own my workshop and allow me to do this at the end of their lane. Without them, none of this would be possible. And thank you to them too for the huge pile of clay dug from their field.

A special thank you and congratulations to Alex McErlain, who has done so much for me in the last year, taking me to Montpellier back in the spring and exhibiting my work in the ongoing Honest Pots exhibition in York City Art Gallery.

Alex has just retired from Manchester Metropolitan University. His kind of knowledge and experience will never be seen again in Higher Education and I know that he has had a profound influence on the lives of many people.

I'm really looking forward to Alex spending more time at Hollyford in months to come.

You may have seen this little film of Alex before, working on some collaborative pots he made with Alice Kettle, but I'll post it again. Congratulations Alex

And of course, last but not least, a big thank you to my family who have put up with the long hours I have to work and erratic income, associated with a career in pottery.

Happy New Year everybody, all the very best for 2011, hope it's a good one.

Right, it's party time!


Peter said...

Happy New Year Doug,
Lovely to see some of the good things that have been achieved in your pottery over the last 12 months, and here's to a great 2011, and lots of happy blunging!
We had a nice phone call from Jeff and Stella at midnight a few hours ago our time, and I continue to be so thankful for that little mug of yours that brought us all together.
Best Wishes, Peter & Laura

Ron said...

Hey, Happy New Year!!!! Just sent you the photos you asked for about my clay mixing stuff. Hope it helps. Can't wait to see you in April!!

doug Fitch said...

Bless you Peter, Happy New Year to you and yours and to you and yours Ron - see you in 2011!

cookingwithgas said...

Cheers and Happy new year!
I hope to see you state side in the spring.

ang design said...

hope you get the blunger out in one piece!! what a find eh..and ahhh the lovely pot on the post image...i think it's one of my fav location shoot really sweeet!!! happy new year mr douglas, chat soon..

doug Fitch said...

Cheers all, I hope you all enjoyed your new year celebrations - I'm feeling a bit battered today. Peter, how sweet of Jeff to call, what a top bloke he is.

See you in the Spring NC folk, are you still coming Ang?

Craig Edwards said...

Doug: Yes, Happy new Year... May we all be alive at the end of it! I really look forward to seeing a glimpse of your work and Devon through your Blog.

ang design said...

ah yep... looking into it now :))