Tuesday 29 May 2012


Morning all Here's a little film of the Jubilee jug when it came out of the kiln last week. It's still sitting here beside me and it's destination is as yet unknown. Back in the workshop yesterday, I started off with a few dishes. I'm hoping to have a good throwing day today. I cleared the decks at the weekend and tidied the place up in readiness for one last big making session before the firing. My strength is slowly returning after last week's illness, it really knocked me out .
If you should happen to be in Devon at the weekend, my friend and inspiration, Clive Bowen is having a sale. I'm sure there will be many wonderful things there - I'll be going for sure. Off to work, have a lovely day all

Monday 28 May 2012

The Diamond Jubilee jug

Good morning and a happy Monday to you all. It's a bright and sunny one here again today - the past few days have been scorching. Yesterday we took a family outing to Bath. Luke achieved the merit that he required to win his place at Bath Spa University, where he's going to study painting, so we took the trip out so that he could check out the city centre - it's a beautiful and vibrant place. I'm very pleased for him. Today is Joe's seventeenth birthday, so we're all going out tonight for curry to celebrate. Here are a couple of photographs of the Diamond Jubilee jug which my friend Jonny took for me last week. I seem to be having some difficulty uploading them, I think because they're large files, but you can see more of them here.

It came out so nicely, better than we could have hoped for. I don't know where it will end up, in private hands or a museum - at the moment, I'm enjoying it at home. He's such an amazing illustrator is my chum Frank. Well I must get to work. Have a good start to the week everybody, bye for now.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Pictures from a poorly potter

Hi folks I've been poorly :( I went to the doc's today and got some pills so hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. It's only a sinus infection, but it's made me dizzy and feverish all week and above all achy and exhausted. Enough moaning about that anyway.
I managed to find the memory card for my stills camera, so I'm pleased to be able to post some stills again. I've missed having photographs on my blog.
These are 3lb jars. The grey will become green and the white, either yellow or honey.
This is the big jug I made a few days ago.
And here's Luke at his private view. Needless to say, I was very proud of him.

Well this is a good value blog tonight to make up for missing yesterday and this morning. Here's a film of what happened yesterday And here's one from today, when I took the Golden Jubilee jug to Jonny the photographer's place in Exeter. I'll be going back to collect it tomorrow, so no pot making, but I need a day or two to get fit again before a big push to make all the large pots next week, that I should have made this week. Sorry if this is a bit of a delirious ramble - it's because I feel a bit delirious :) Off to bed Goodnight all

Wednesday 23 May 2012


Yesterday was a beautiful sunshiny day in Devon - today looks like it's going to be much the same. I still feel really run down at the moment, it's not easy being a man with a cold. No pots made still, but slip mixed and jars decorated. There are more to decorate today, then I can clear the decks and maybe get back in the swing again. I'm off to Luke's private view this evening. This will mark the end of his Art Foundation course, which is the stepping stone that will take him to university in September. I'm looking forward to seeing all his work properly hung - he's worked exceptionally hard. Well, it's off to work I go - have a lovely day all

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Morning folks Yesterday wasn't as productive as I had hoped - I was still feeling really wiped out by the weekend's migraine and a couple of times, I had to take a lie down on the workshop sofa. That said, I got everything done that I set out to do, apart from making any big pots - I'll have to make double today. I think Mary Mark is coming over this evening, so I'll put some hours in. The Jubilee jug is now glazed and will go in to the kiln today. I'll be much relieved to see that come through the firing. Time to go to work Bye for now ps Here's the Olympic torch going past my brother's office at the weekend - see if you can guess which one is my brother. Hil makes an appearance too :-)

Monday 21 May 2012


Morning everybody and a happy Monday to you all. Here's a video from Friday. I had hoped to get to work on Saturday, but all of the late nights and long days finally caught up with me and I was knocked out by a migraine attack. So I'm running a little behind, with catching up to do today. The big plan here is to make enough pots for two firings, back to back. The pots from the firings will be for Earth and Fire, Rufford and Art in Clay, Hatfield, then an exhibition in a gallery up north, with Hannah McAndrew and Paul Young. I want to be able to have enough to chose from, so that I can have fresh pots for each event. The Hatfield show is usually in August, but because of the demand of the Olympics on the supply of marquees and portaloos, it's been moved to a fortnight after Rufford, hence the necessity to work so hard right now. The Olympics is something I've never been excited about,as I'm not that interested in sport, so it seems to the uninitiated eye, to be lots of people running round and round and throwing things. I did however enjoy watching the Olympic flame go by on Sunday. Maybe it should inspire another commemorative jug collaboration with Frank? I got the sense that I was experiencing a little bit of history. Well I'll sign out now and head off to work. I don't know what's happened to the paragraphs in recent pots - the blogger software seems to have removed them all - I guess it saves them publishing a whole lot of gaps - it's a pity, negative space is so important, so please excuse these posts ending up being big chunks of text. Have a good start to the week everybody, bye for now.

Friday 18 May 2012


Morning all Hurrah! I got the jars and their lids made - six at six pounds, six at three and six at one pound. Today I'll be turning the lids and throwing the knobs on. It felt good to be back on the wheel again and really, really goo to have finished the pots from the last make. If I get time today I hope to make some really big jugs. I'm a bit slow this morning - a nasty dose of man flu is upon me, hopefully I'll survive :( Happy Friday everybody

Thursday 17 May 2012

Wednesday on Thursday

Good morning Hurrah, the sgrafitto jug came out fine - what a huge relief. I was feeling quite sick with nerves when I opened the door to the kiln - I think you can probably sense my trepidation and then my subsequent relief. I now have to get the glaze on to it and fire it again successfully, but so far, so good, it didn't blow up and the handle stayed on, phew. I still didn't manage to get on the wheel yesterday, once again it was a day of decorating, but today, at long last, I'll get started on making lidded jars. It's been nearly three weeks since I made any pots. The sun shone yesterday, the woods are now fully verdant, the hedgerows are exploding with Campion and umbellifers - Spring is here for sure. Got to fly, kiddiwinks to school, then off to work for another long day. I hope you all have a good one Bye for now

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Tuesday on Wednesday

Morning all Marky Mark came over after work and we worked on, late into the evening. Just four more pots to decorate, then I start making lots of jars - I can't wait to get making again, although my poor tired back is aching this morning. I'd better get myself organized and away to work. I'll report back later on how the sgrafitto jug came out. Happy Wednesday all, have a lovely day.

Tuesday 15 May 2012


It's in the kiln! Fingers crossed. Luke came to work with me yesterday and stacked all the wood in the woodshed, ready for the next firing. He's finished his art foundation course now and will be heading off to university to study painting in September, so I'm going to make the most of his youthful muscles while he's still at home! My poor body is certainly feeling plenty of aches and pains. The decorating marathon still continues, but I know for sure that it'll end today and then I can start the cycle all over again with a new batch of wet pots. Lidded jars next I think - and maybe a few more jugs - one can never have too many jugs. Marky Mark is coming over this evening, so I'll put in a long day. Bye for now

Monday 14 May 2012

Road trip

Good morning and a happy Monday to you all. Here's a little film from Friday. I'm still struggling to get my pots decorated and still there are a whole lot of them waiting for me, safely kept damp under polythene. It's driving me a bit crazy! Hopefully I'll see them off today. As you can see from the video, the orchard is in full blossom at the moment, stimulating the senses with its beauty and delicate fragrance. The blossom inspired the decoration on the little jug at the start of the film. I spent way too much time on that little pot, but that's just the way it is sometimes. On Saturday, Marky Mark and I headed off over the border, to Cornwall, to visit Frank. While there, went down to near Land's End, to pick up a pug mill, which nearly broke our backs. Frank delivered it back to the workshop yesterday. We also brought back the Jubilee jug, which I have to bisc fire today. It's stunning, Frank made an amazing job of scratching it. Well, I must away to work and try and get all those pots decorated. I'm desperate to get making again, hopefully it'll happen today. Bye for now

Friday 11 May 2012


Morning folks I didn't get as much done yesterday as I might have liked - I was feeling a bit rough, I'm not sure why, just tiredness - I feel great today thankfully, so I should get all the decorating finished off so that this batch of pots can be drying out over the weekend, ready for bisc firing next week. I intend to give the workshop a good clean-up before I leave this evening, ready to get started making again next week. Tomorrow I'm off to Cornwall, to pick up the sgrafitto jugs that Frank's been working on. Here's a short film he made of the big one while he was working on it - it looks even more remarkable now it's finished - what a clever man. Time to get these kiddies to school, I'll be back later with a progress report on today's decorating. Have a good Friday everybody.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Handley handley

That's all the handles done - hurrah! Lots of decorating tomorrow.

Juggedy juggedy

Morning all. Yesterday was another long day. The school bus broke down in the morning, so Joe needed a lift to school in Crediton and Luke, a ride to college in Exeter with all of his art works for his final assessment. He's done some amazing paintings, I'll blog about that another day. I had to wait for Luke for a while, so took the opportunity to visit the old pots in Exeter Museum, which is just near his college. They have a good collection there of locally made pots - the medieval ones and the later, North Devon slipware, do it for me of course. Anyway, the upshot of all that stuff meant that I wasn't in work until after lunchtime and had to work late to make up for it. As you can see from the little film that I shot on the way home from Exeter, the countryside is full of colour at the moment - the yellow of the Oilseed Rape in the fields and the pinks of the Campions against the fresh, bright greens of new spring foliage in the hedgerows. The views are from the top of Raddon Hill, which we have to traverse from here to get to town. It's always a spectacular vista from the top of Raddon, whatever the season, but in the spring it's just wooohooooooooooooo. The jug on the film took me hours to decorate - it was 11 pm before I was out of there. Decorating in this manner is a journey, which begins with vertical lines, that are then filled in-between, the design developing as I go along. It's inspired by the density of foliage in the spectacular high banks that line the lanes around here. I had an interesting conversation with the painter Simon Jowitt during our recent exhibition in Cambridge about the use of such geometry to create depth and perspective. This pot's also reminiscent of a carved porcelain cup that Adam gave me on his recent visit - I hadn't realized that until I was well underway, but looking at that cup helped me resolve some questions as to where certain lines should be - thanks Adam! Off to work then for another long day. I think Marky Mark may be joining me this evening. I'm putting the hours in at the moment as I would like as many pots as possible to chose from for the forthcoming summer shows. Also I have to make some big stuff for an order and need to be able to afford the time to get it wrong before getting it right, with the reassurance of a body of stock on the shelves. Many handles, much decorating and hopefully freshly thrown pots by the end of today. Bye for now, have a good day all.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Stuff from Monday

Morning folks Well yesterday may have been a Bank holiday - but it was certainly not a potter's holiday. Not that I minded a jot, I'm really enjoying myself at the moment. The holiday also enabled Marky Mark to come out to play. We started work bright and early, MM throwing and me decorating. Mark stayed until early afternoon and I ended up working on late into the evening. It was a long day and I got a lot done. All the pots that I made last week are starting to toughen up, so I have to get them all finished today. It'll be great to get back on the wheel and start making again tomorrow. Here's a short video of yesterday's progress. Have a good day everybody, back later

Sunday 6 May 2012

Weekend waffle

Well just as I was about to leave work at 5.30 on Friday evening, I checked everything that was being kept damp under polythene, only to discover that some of it was getting a bit dry and needed handling. So my hopes of an early retreat were dashed and I had to work on until late. There are still a fair few pots to handle in the morning. I think I must have made half a kiln load of pots during last week. There's still a lot to do with them - throwing is the relatively speedy part of the process, the finishing and decorating is what really takes the time. It's the decorating that I find the most difficult aspect of all this. I feel like I'm making good progress though and to be looking forward to getting to work in the morning is a good feeling. Marky Mark came over yesterday and we graded and stacked the delivery of wood that arrived last weekend. It should be good and dry for the next firing. It's a relief to get it in. Some still needs cutting - my friend and fellow Love Daddy, Cookie is going to come and chainsaw it for me this week. After that, it was off to the seaside at Charmouth in Dorset. Here we played a gig along with a wonderful 'Posh Choir' and some amazing classical musicians. An interesting mixture of styles - we certainly sent a few punters home as soon as we struck up! Marky Mark's coming to work again tomorrow for a few hours of jolly potting in the morning. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Have a good start to the week everybody, bye for now

Friday 4 May 2012


Good morning Jug production continued yesterday, with a number of 2lb and 5lb fat jugs. These ones are based on old English medieval shapes, wide bottomed and low bellied. They'll look a lot more sensible once they have handles. Oh and some ridiculously large, wobbly tankards for the keenest of beer drinkers. On a Thursday and Friday morning I take some little kiddywinks to school for friends of mine. I love it, it's a long time since my boys were that age. I'd better go now and get them a drink before school time. Have a good Friday everybody.

Thursday 3 May 2012


Things are starting to come together at last. I always find the winter months so difficult. The workshop's always cold, the clay freezing and the flora in the countryside from which I draw so much inspiration, dormant. Thank goodness Spring is here, bringing with it all that positive energy that it does. Yesterday was a beautiful day, what a joy to be able to sit out and work in the sunshine. The shelves are starting to fill up. I decided to just keep throwing while things are going well and store everything up under polythene, before a good session of handle making. I'm making all the medium and small jugs first. I was going to throw large pots yesterday, but the clay is a bit soft, so I'll toughen some up specially and get on to them next week. Of course, the throwing is the relatively quick part of the process, the finishing and decorating is the stuff that takes ages. The jug that Frank is scratching, continues to be ever extraordinary.
Well, work time. Mary Mark's been poorly, so our late night has been postponed all week - hopefully he'll be coming over this evening and we can turn up the dirty rock and roll and make some pots together. Have a good day all, back later.

Wednesday 2 May 2012


Good morning Here are yesterday's 8lb jugs in the making - more of these to make today, then on to bigger ones if my hands are doing things right. I think Marky Mark might be coming over this evening. This is a film my friend James shot at the exhibition in Cambridge. A short but sweet post, I must get to work. Back later. Have a good day everybody

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Cambridge and back

Evening all I went to Cambridge on Saturday and took the show down. I really enjoyed the show and I'm looking forward to then next Rolling Structures event, which I'll blog about in due course. Thank you to everybody who came and bought pots. A special thank you to James and Samantha. I drove home afterwards and got home at 1am, completely wired from drinking too much Red Bull - lying in bed at 2.30 am, I was still awake!!!! So today I've been getting back in to making, with a batch of 7lb tapered jugs. 8lb fat jugs next. It's been crazy wind and rain again today - even more tomorrow, and cold too, I'm regretting that hair cut.