Thursday 29 March 2012

Busy busy busy

Lots to report, but not enough time!!!

Had a great weekend,the demo went well, the conference was great, the museums, inspiring and the company fantastic.

I have videos of it all which I need to string together. Adam arrived on Monday and we're frantically making pots for a firing in a couple of weeks. We're having a great time. This is a really brief post as we're off back to work in moment, but here's a short video I shot yesterday so you can see what's been going on. I'll write more and post pictures soon.

Back soon

Bye for now

Thursday 22 March 2012

On my way

Another long day yesterday, getting everything finished off so it can dry while I'm away, then packing and tidying. I also had to prepare a good supply of clay for my demo at the weekend.

My friend Heather delivered her little caravan to Hollyford. Adam will be staying in it, just outside the workshop. We were going to have him to stay at home, but our house is tiny and he is allergic to cats, so he'll be more comfortable in his own space. I'm excited about meeting him on Monday.

So far 110 people have booked for the demo - that's pretty scary. I always dread these things, but it's good fun once it gets going and folks start to interact.

I packed a box full of pots to take along to sell. It's mostly bowls that were surplus to my requirements for Japan - I made so many. The box was too heavy to lift after a long day, with a tired back and in the dark last night I wasn't going to take a chance. I have to head off to the workshop shortly to load them in to the car, then I'll set off on my journey.

The motorway is such a contrast to the lanes that I drive on every day - I really don't like driving on busy roads, but it will do me good - it's too easy to become reclusive, much as that is my desire. I'm looking forward to seeing my folks later today.

Have a good day everybody, back soon

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Out and about

Morning folks

Here's what happened yesterday.

I'll not be back in the workshop until Monday afternoon and I wanted to get everything finished up so it can be drying while I'm away. It was a long day, I got home some time after 10pm, tired and grubby. Tomorrow I set of on a lengthy journey, spread over the duration of a few days.

In the morning I'll be heading to my parents' place in Bedford, then on Friday, to Suffolk, to stay with friends. I'm going to Suffolk via Cambridge, picking Hannah up from the station en route. We'll spend some time, along with our friend Jon, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, which has a remarkable, historical slipware collection.

I'll also be checking out a gallery space in Cambridge, where I have an exhibition with two painters and a printmaker which opens in a few weeks time.

On Saturday morning we'll be heading in to London, to the V&A, where we'll be attending the Spring Conference of the Heritage Craft Association. Back to Suffolk in the evening and an early start on Sunday, to drive to North Norfolk where I'm doing a demo for the Anglia Potters Association. After that, I'll break the back of the journey home, stay in a travel lodge, then head the rest of the way back on Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon, Adam Field arrives - he'll be staying for about three weeks - exciting stuff.

Phew, I'm tired just thinking about it all - I'd better get motivated and head off to work, lots to do.

Bye for now

Monday 19 March 2012

Here's what's been happening

Here are some short films from the last few days.

Back soon with words and pictures. Happy Monday all

Thursday 15 March 2012


Howdy folks

Back in the workshop today after a trip to Plymouth yesterday with Luke, to look round the Art College.

The courier came today and took my boxes, loaded up with fifty of my pots, away on the first leg of their journey to Tokyo. It's a relief to have them on their way. The show is with Hannah and Clive Bowen - it's a big deal to be exhibiting with them. Clive is one of my greatest heroes and has had a very apparent influence on my work. Hannah and I have had many a panicky conversation in the run up to this show. I hope the Japanese like our works.

I gave the place a good clear up today, getting it ready to start making again. These four jugs have been hidden away under polythene for a while. In fact one of their siblings is fired, finished and on its way to Tokyo. I was surprised that they were still ok when I came to decorate them today.

The bird song at the end of this little film was so beautiful, I had to post the whole tune.

The pots I'm about to start making now are for an exhibition in April in Cambridge, more details soon. I'll need to work hard again in the next few weeks.

Have a good Friday all

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Spring cleaning

Yesterday was Spring cleaning day at Hollyford Pottery. There were so many pots in the showroom that just didn't make the grade, so I decided it was time to take action and make room for the new ones.

That felt good.

A day in the city today, seeking out packaging ready to send my pots off to Japan and then for an eye test which is well overdue.

Late night working this evening with Marky Mark.

Have a good day y'all.

Sunday 11 March 2012

New pots

Hello all

Thank you for your comments on the last post. It's been a tough few days.

Here's a little film of the unpack. Some good pots, but too many losses. I'm still grumbling over the losses, rather than celebrating the successes as is often the way for a while after a firing - ah negativity. I have to get my positive head on tomorrow.

I have at least got all the pots that I need for sending to Tokyo, which is a huge relief, they'll be packed and dispatched in a couple of days.

A tidy up in the morning, a few minutes introducing some dodgy pots to a hammer, that'll feel good, then back on the wheel and on to the next lot.

I'll post some pictures of the pots soon

Happy Monday all

Friday 9 March 2012

Fired and finished

Frank lighting the kiln

Well I'm glad that's done - it's been hard work and long hours leading up to that firing.

Luke called me during the day to say that Eric the cat wasn't well, so I had to leave the kiln in Frank's capable kiln gauntlets and rush home to take poor Eric to the vets. The vet just called a minute ago and he didn't make it, so it's going to be a sad house here this evening.

The firing seemed to go well - we finished stoking just after ten o'clock in the evening, although by the time we'd clammed the kiln up with wet clay and tidied around, it was approaching midnight that we finally all went our separate ways.

Here's the obligatory post-firing sofa photograph of yesterday's team. The chap on the left of the picture is Dave Smith, who is a brilliant glass artist and designer(take a look at his site and you'll be astonished at the quality of his work). He's just designed the artwork for John Mayer's latest album.

Now we have to wait until Saturday and keep our fingers crossed that there are some good pots hidden away in that chamber.

Here's a haphazard little film of the day.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Firing day

It was a late night, Marky Mark and I finished packing in the early hours.

Frank's here, we need to go and fire it - back later...............much later. Here goes.

Monday 5 March 2012

Glazy day

Today's glazing went well - still lots to do, but it's well underway and I can see and end to it. I worked late and broke the back of it.

Tomorrow I have to make an early start to take Luke for a college interview in Bath. I'm expecting it to take all day, so I doubt I'll get back to the workshop until the evening. I need to crack on and get the glazing done, ready to pack the kiln with Marky Mark on Wednesday.

Time for bed
Good night all

Looking backwards, looking forward

Morning all

The weekend, visiting my parents was lovely, as ever.

We got back late yesterday afternoon, so I forced myself, grumbling and moaning, out of the armchair in the evening and went to the workshop. I needed to mix new batches of glaze and clean the workshop, ready to start the mighty task of glazing all of these pots today. This is probably the part of the process I like the least, although I'm sure it'll be fine once I get going - the prospect is always worse than the reality.

The light coming through the window this morning tells me it's going to be a lovely day. I'm ready for Spring and the energy that it inspires, I'm really looking forward to seeing colour in the hedgerows and in my little garden.

It's easy in the depths of winter, to forget that the flowers and leaves will return, so I was happy to look back over this footage as a little reminder. I strung it together into a short film to share with you. It's of some stuff I did back in September - pots that I made for my solo show in Nottinghamshire, and the beautiful, late summer blooms, in my workshop flowerbeds.

Happy Monday everybody, have a great week.

Friday 2 March 2012

Happy Friday

Hello all and a happy Friday to you.

My brother picked me up just after eleven this morning and we're now at my parents' house in Bedford.

I had to make an early start at the workshop to get everything finished up to date before we set off on the long journey up country. Sometimes it's a good thing to be put under a bit of time pressure, because it forces me to decorate things rather than dithering an avoiding it, as I spoke of yesterday. It seemed strange to be leaving the workshop in broad daylight for a change.

Everything should be dry enough for the wood firing next week. I'll have to be selective when it comes to bisc firing, as I'll not get it all through in time - but it's good to be able to chose a bit of everything. The rest will either be put through the electric kiln, (which gives me a different range of tones and colours from the wood kiln), or saved for the next wood firing in a few weeks time.

Here's today's little film.

Happy weekends all, bye for now

Thursday 1 March 2012

Hollyford in the Springtime

Humph, still no camera, it didn't show up.

It was such a beautiful Spring day today. I was able to dry pots outside in the warm breeze for the first time this year. It's good for the head and the heart this sunshine stuff.

There are quite a few pots to finish off in the morning before I head to my folks', so it's going to be an early start. There are jugs and bowls to decorate and slip - who knows, maybe my new camera will arrive and I can take some pictures.

Well I'm going to go and scrub this clay off my aching body, then I'm going to go to bed, I feel dead beat. Goodnight all

Wet slip is the best

Morning blog folks

Today's the day when my new camera arrives, so normal service will resume at last.

Yesterday was a very, very long day. I had to get as many pots finished and drying, as I could before going home. Marky Mark came up after work, so I had company for most of the evening and he tolerated my cursing and moaning(of which there was much) as I attempted to decorate lots of pots.

Decorating is the thing I struggle with more than anything and I'll leave pots under polythene for days, keeping them damp as long as possible, to avoid the moment of having to decorate. I find none of it comes easily, although it may sometimes look simple. I aim to have everything finished and drying by 5pm this evening.

Today is my older son Luke's birthday - nineteen years old, where did that go? So tonight we'll be celebrating that with a curry and a beer. Tomorrow morning I'll be heading away up-country with my brother to visit my parents, as it's my Dad's birthday on Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Here's some footage from yesterday. There's a short clip in the film of beautiful, battered North Devon harvest jug from 1774, which somebody brought to show me yesterday - what a beauty.

Here's bit more film of the jug - ooooo, lovely.

Right, I must away to work. Happy Thursday everybody