Thursday, 27 August 2009

More long dishes underway


This week I've been working on some more long dishes. I have an 'important' commission for one which I really want to make a good job of. I was too greedy in my first attempt and REALLY DID make it too long, so that even on a slanted kiln shelf it spilled over the end and warped rather horribly. With the second take I changed the design a little but then I wasn't altogether happy with the finished colours. I know that I am being very self critical and I can still sell it, but I want it to be perfect! Surely one of these might be the perfect wiggly.

Now when people view the finished pot I know it is easy to think, 'Nice pot', end of thought. It has just arrived in front of their eyes as if it always has been. Nothing about it, if it is a good one, betrays the struggles which may have happened during its creation. Allie commented, when she saw the finished seat which she had helped me extrude and lift and turn with all the accompanying sweat and tears, how it was hard to even remember the effort involved in all the processes which brought it to life.

So today, when I spent the whole morning struggling to get a design to sit comfortably on a long wiggly dish, I took a shot of all the rubbings out on the way!
I'll finish the slip colours off on this one tommorrow. I am wanting the bottom half of the dog and the swimmer to look as though they are under the water. I have in mind an early manuscript painting of Noah's flood where the drowned people under the waves are just an outline. I'll try for this with some inlaid lines of slip.
.....and meanwhile I am getting through those awkward commssions. The famous 'thistle clock' now drying out.
....and a simple wedding plate. I got a fright with this one. I was on the phone to say it was ready, convinced that it was needed for Wednesday 26th. I had read the date upside down. When I was told that the wedding wasn't until the 29th I felt sick. However that is exactly what I HAD inscibed. Phew!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Bits and Bobs

It's been a pretty busy few weeks since Potfest. There has been a lot of other stuff to sort out, such as various illness within the family, which has taken a lot of time and energy. I did manage to rush the Army Windsurfing prizes order through and got it boxed up and off at the end of last week. It was a case of fast drying, both outside in the sun and then in the kilns as they cooled from the last unpack.
I've since been catching up on those little individual orders, one or two which are long overdue. Such things as house name plaques, a 'thistle clock' (!), a birth plate. The sort of orders that take an inordinate amount of time, each needing individual thought, special colours, motifs, scripts etc and I rarely actually charge enough for them.

I still have a seat half constructed under wraps, which I had to abandon as ceramic shows, orders and summer visitors took over. I'll get back to it soon I HOPE. I sold my snake seat to a someone who saw it at the Park and it left on Monday. I was rather sad to say goodbye to it. It had been well stroked and sat upon and I forgot that it was actually for sale.

I had a nice visit from John Stroomer the other Sunday, who called in with a student friend to have a look at the 'extruders'. Like Jim he seemed a little surprised at my tiny pugmill. I think he expected a Monster machine. Perhaps my half horse power model is a little slow but it still does the job. This afternoon I cut a new die, so perhaps tomorrow I will try it out, though I should really finish the thistle clock first.....