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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lazy "Beep!" Expletive Deleted

I know, it's been a long time. I am still alive...mostly.
To cut a long story short I am remodelling our house this year and, being exceptionally lazy, this is taking longer than it might...
...anyway that's not why I'm posting:
I received a parcel yesterday, opened it up and:

Inside were these wonderful gifts from Cindy at Dirtkicker pottery. Two lovely mugs and a teaspoon rest. All skilfully thrown with lovely attention to detail. I was so chuffed I wanted to share them with you.
You do meet some brilliant and inspirational people on this internet thingy!
You can find out more about Cindy and see what she has for sale through the following links:
Thanks for being patient with me, I hope to get back to throwing later in the year; and a big thank you to all of you who have contacted me wondering where I am.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing You Health, Wealth And Happiness For Christmas & The new Year

Sorry I've got so behind. I'll get back to normal in the New Year (all being well).
So just a quick catch up with a couple of videos I've just posted.
I have been doing other things as well recently, but nothing of any note.
Here are the vids:
This first one is a good example of the glazing I've been doing recently. These cups and mates came out of the kiln last week.

And, as always at Christmas, here's the corn...

Happy Christmas. Thank you for your recent comments one or two have really inspired me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Divide and Conquer...and Divide...and Div...(Snore)

Two days later and I have finished processing the clay.

There it all is. By this stage it has been divided and wedged 4 times. I do this because it means that it is all evenly soft. I have found if I don't divide and re-wedge when I come to throw I'll have some soft and some hard weighed balls making throwing difficult.
(Just in case you don't realise what I'm talking about: In this case I have 16 lumps of clay. Each of these I'll divide into 16 separate pieces. The next lump will be divided in to 16 and each piece will be added to each of the last 16 etc. Eventually I end up with 16 piles of 16 pieces. These are then wedged and then divided again).
I don't know how potters normally recycle clay. I was never taught so have had to learn from experience. Let me know if you have an easier way. All I know is that I have to end up with all the clay being an even texture.
This next pic shows how soft the clay is:

Nicely pliable, firm enough to hold it's shape without cracking at the edges.
I've ended up with just under 100kg (220llbs). Hard work but well worth it.
And here is the empty bin:

It's a great feeling. This is the first time since I built my workshop that this bin has been empty!
Before I finish I should show you what I found in the clay this time:

Once again a piece of chamois and, like last time, I pulled out a pin. How I've not stabbed myself yet I don't know!
As I trudged back into my house I took this pic:

I've been saving the last of my Wife's tomatoes to make a big batch of sauce. They are mostly ripe; there are still a number on the plants and I expect we'll be fighting over them soon. My Wife for green tomato chutney and me for sauce. I made some a few weeks ago which worked as a ketchup, a pizza sauce and as a pasta sauce and am planning to make a lot more with these, when I can collect enough ripe fruit and find enough small bottles!
You can also see one the tea-light holders I threw is being used. 
Thanks for visiting and thank you for your kind comments and encouragement.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Am Alive....No, Really! I Am....Aren't I?

Where to start? I'm not sure....I should probably mention the exhibition was not a roaring success and leave it at that, you can draw your own conclusions. I will say that nobody seemed to sell anything, except maybe one or two small pots at the opening. I will know better next time. It has been a learning experience.
Anyway I have been roundly kicked up the bum over these last weeks by family and friends and finally the encouragement sank in and I have spent this week in the workshop reclaiming clay.

All of the clay...

Above is some of the still too wet bench full...

Next is the fairly wet batch.

Above is the almost ready to wedge and knead pile.

And here is the plaster slab still being loaded up regularly.

I emptied my whole bin. No half measures I decided, if I was going to do this I was going to do it properly. I think in total I have about 100kgs (220llbs), maybe more. It's difficult to judge until I reach the stage when I'm bagging it up. It's all just laying around in heaps at the moment, as you can see.
I only went out to the workshop to throw then realised I only had 8-10kg of usable clay left!
I hope by the end of this week to be able to start throwing. Wish me luck and strong shoulders for the wedging and kneading!
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoresby Exhibition

I've had a slow week. I pulled something in my right wrist last weekend, so have been taking things easy, to make sure it heals properly. I have filled half the kiln with some more small vases though and threw a few large pots for carving, so my time was not entirely wasted. I plan to do some more carving this coming week and have six pots set aside waiting.
Yesterday we took a trip over to the gallery at Thoresby to see the exhibition. It was very interesting and not a little daunting, to see the quality and skills of the other potters taking part. Below are the videos I shot as I walked around. There is a great selection of pots on display. I hope you'll enjoy the tour.
Thanks for visiting.