Sunday, 20 February 2011

Blog post!

Hi there. I've been very bad at updating this blog recently, I apologise for that. Here's what's been happening.

I have some orders for a number of very large pots, so in recent days I've been learning a bit more about coil-throwing. It's a tricky technique, which I've done before, but never really mastered. I made a few big pots last week, but I'm still not happy with the shapes they've been turning out, so they've been scrapped and put back through the pug mill. The picture shows one in the making. This one went to about 2ft 6, before I scrapped it. By the time I made the last one, I felt I'd got much better at joining the coils and hiding the join, but the shape was still a bit unresolved - I need to do much more drawing, so that I'm aware of how I want the form to develop. Nevertheless, I made good progress and I'm confident that I'll get it right soon with a bit more practice. There are some important exhibitions coming up this year, so it'll be great to have some whoppers made for those.

I was helped greatly by this fantastic new book, which has been written by my good friend Nic Collins. I went to stay with Nic last week and left with a copy and the customary hangover.

It's a really good book, with lots of step-by-step photographs, showing various different ways of making larger pots - here's Nic doing his thing...

...and here's some other dodgy bloke throwing a jug. A really good 'how-to-do' guide, you can get it right here.

This pot was a bit of a weird shape, but I thought I'd see it through the process, just so that I could work out how to slip, decorate, glaze and raw fire such an object. As it turned out, I dropped it this afternoon when I was trying to slip it, so it wasn't to be.

One of the reasons for going to visit Nic was so we could have a talk about an essay that he's asked me to write, for the catalogue of his solo show at the Goldmark Gallery, which opens on 2nd April. It's a great honour to be writing such a thing for a prestigious exhibition. I got a sneak preview of the work that Nic's amassed for the show, saved from firings over the last two years - it's going to be a stunning exhibition, really spectacular. I'm supposed to be writing the essay right now, but blogging is long overdue so I thought I should do a bit of this first.
This is other stuff from the last week or so. An 8lb sprigged jug
Some baluster jugs. These are more slender than usual - they're such an anthropomorphic shape, maybe my recent Dame experience has made me consider more feminine curves :)
1lb jars.
Some jugs with applied decoration. The pot in the middle has a peculiar beak through which to pour. It's a funny looking thing, based upon one of the medieval jugs in York Museum. I dug up a rim shard from one of these in my garden a few years ago, with the pouring hole and a bit of the beak, so I was able to work out exactly how the beaks were joined.
Another baluster, black slip over white.

On Friday my old chum Andrew Grundon(aka Frank), signwriter, carver, writer and illustrator came to visit. He's an exceptional artist and with absolute ease and confidence, drew this sgrafitto design on to one of my little jugs for his daughter, Freya.

This pot will go into my wood firing, which happens on Saturday - woohoo!!

Alex and Hannah are coming down on Tuesday for the week, to help with the pack and the firing. It'll be great to see them and it'll give Hannah and me the opportunity to knock about a few ideas for things that we might include in our forthcoming workshops in the USA. I'm looking forward to new pots, warm from the kiln, this time next week - hurrah.

Well that's all for now, I've made a few videos in recent times, so I'll post some of those later. If you'd like to see more pictures of what's been happening this month, follow this link here
Happy Monday everybody, back soon


ang design said...

oh doug, droppage :(( oh well next one on ya get.. i added a few more coils to mine yesterday so should be done by end of the week with air drying as it's not too hot at the mo, yey.... and frank, noice one!!!

Dan Finnegan said...

Whoppers!! Something to look forward to...

The Fuz said...

Check out a nice series of videos by "agfield2000" on youtube on Korean "onggi" pots- they look to hold about 50 gallons. I guess there's still call for everyday earthenware that big, as their kiln appears to be a hundred feet long! Keep up the good work.

gz said...

Sometimes throwing a coil can work easier, depends what suits you

doug Fitch said...

Thank you The Fuz, I checked them out, those guys are amazing