Tuesday 8 December 2009

Some November pots

Here are some of the pots which were finished over the last few weeks. This was one of the first which I bent from side to side as it was being extruded. The trouble is that my pugmill is mounted against a wall, so it was easier to pull one way than the other, but I can hardly see myself moving it now. I enjoyed the movement the method created so I shall be having another go at this.The most recent die I made had hollow runners incorporated. I tried cutting away so that the runners are showing at either end and I attached the handle to them. Don't ask why a hammer head shark, the shape just seemed to ask for it. I have a feeling that somehow it may not be as popular an image as gentle looking penguins.

From the same die and bowed slightly is this chunky looking dish. Both it and the penguin dish are on show at the McGill Duncan Gallery Christmas show, 'Glimpses of Galloway', although to be honest I am not sure that you would get a glimpse of a penguin in Galloway. I also took along my Swimmer and Dog dish - that one really was a glimpse of Galloway, I saw her with her dog swimming out through the waves as I was having a summer swim at Rockcliffe.

Without my home grown captive photographer Rodger I had to employ the services of a professional photographer last week. With really very little trouble he managed to turn the showroom into a temporary photographic studio. I think I shall have to look into the aquisition of a big roll of paper and some device to hang it from. It is having a clean ready space to take the photos in that is always the problem. For some reason I had never thought of using the showroom, but it was far easier to clear than the conservatory, (full of plants), the workshop, (dirty and full of half made pots), a bedroom, (full of boy), or outside, (full of rain, wind and cold).

He took some shots of my dog seat and I have got them sent off to Lark books so I shall see what happens with that one. he also took the top three shots. I am not at all sure about their 'floating' in white space quality, it feels a bit weird.

It is good to be half back to thinking about pots and the pottery, though it is still on a rather half time basis. I brought Rodger back from hospital on Friday. Already three days at home are helping to improve his well being, but it will be a long slow recovery with trips to Glasgow and Dumfries twice a week for the next few months.


  1. lovin the new pieces,you prob have the firing of large flattish pieces down by now, after lots of cracking issues with student work, i think i'm going to instigate a slow fire overnight and take it to 300C slowly, any tips on firing the big stuff?? cheers ang oh and welcome home roger..

  2. Yes, I biscuit ridiculously slowly with the big pieces. Using an overnight schedule I start around 6.00pm and roughly speaking climb to 110'c at 30'/hr, then 310'c at 50'hr, 650'c at 70'/hr and only relax after that. Kiln is over at around 8am. Slow,but worth it it in the end. I wonder how that corresponds to what you are doing? I am invariably packing the kiln well up to the elements, so if I rushed it the big flat pieces they would get too hot at the edge and leave a cold middle. Trouble.

  3. as we dont have a controller i have no idea at the rate of climb early on..but was thinking of doubling the firing time on low overnight, then start a slow cycle in the morning which would take about 20 hrs to fire, at the moment the kilns start at 4am on the timer and are usually 500 deg at 9am and are done by lunchtime..ok for thrown work but the slab constructions are cracking..

  4. Glad your captive photographer is a little better and at home. The Hammerhead shark does suit that dish and he looks quite a gentle shark not like those Great White bullies.

    I love the woman and dog swimming, tho'. The white dog dish is lots of fun too.

  5. Just reading the comments regarding "slow" biscuit firing, and it sounds entirely sensible to me, firing those large pieces of yours must be very careful work. I had a commission one winter for about 350 ten inch terracotta floor tiles, and only had a top loading electric kiln at the time that would take 28 of them in stacks of up to eight per shelf. I would steam out the tiles for up to 2 days with my manual kiln before starting the firing proper, and would take 15 -17 hours to cone 03. In spite of taking lots of care I would always loose a few with cracks.

    Lovely to see your work, and always interesting to see what can be done with a pug mill and lots of imagination.

    Glad to read of Rodger's improvement.

  6. Just bought one of your mugs at Jim Robison's Booth House Gallery , one with a crocodile decoration.
    It'll be winging its way across the atlantic soon, to a poet just north of Houston, in Texas.

    I didn't quite know whose it was until I saw a pic on Hannah's blog today.
    Nice mug... I just tested it, it does tea very nicely, thanks!