Thursday 15 October 2009

Distracted decorating

I eventually managed to get the last of the salad bowls decorated on Wednesday. It was difficult to focus, as my mind was rather more in Glasgow with Rodger. I had hoped to do some new designs but I wasn't feeling in a creative enough space so in the end I did some variations on old themes. My Father had come over the afternoon before and was a there with supper ready when I got home from Glasgow. He spent Wednesday morning sitting in the workshop with me doing his tapestry to keep me company. His presence was very calming and stopped me jumping up and down checking my mobile phone for possible messages from the hospital!
Fox and foxgloves in a different layout and one with the chasing cats.
Today it was mugs and jugs, which needed handles on and then slip decorating. Thank goodness for my tried and tested 'Sheep on Criffel' design - easy to do as I have made so many of them, and they need no extra concentration.
I should get them finished off tomorrow and then I will go back up to Glasgow. Inigo is going to keep the showroom open for limited hours. He had a trial run on Tuesday and although he had a few people through he didn't sell anything. I think he was quite disappointed not to get a go at wrapping up a giant seat or some such exotic object!

At the weekend Oskar came up and we had the the most delightful walk out to Rough Island over the causeway. What a great day for Rodger's last bit of 'freedom'!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

The Hard Rock & a rocky time ahead.

The Hard Rock prizes went down really well. We watched the event at the weekend and here is my stalwart helper Allie on the ride and the run, coming in as first local woman! I cycled in this event last year but I did start to get a bit worried about injuries - and the more I worried the more I fell off. I now wear a ridiculous amount of body armour and don't look anything like as cool as Allie, but as a self emplyed potter with no personal insurance I reckon I just have to put up with looking like a medieval knight. As a child I always wanted to be one anyway so nothing has changed there.

I had a large throwing session, I didn't mean to make quite so much but the clay was JUST right and I got rather carried away. I have been meaning to throw some salad bowls for ages as I've had none in the showroom all summer.
I'd also run out of tri-vases, (great for people who can't arrange flowers very well, like me). Sometimes they are horrendous to throw but the clay being just perfect makes so much difference.At the same time I'm half way through a group of extruded dishes. I had a go at bending a dish sideways as it was being extruded. It was a bit tricky because the pugmill is so close to the wall, one side was easier than the other. But I do like the effect and I think it has potential.
In between all this making Allie unpacked the big kiln of bisc, but now there is no room anywhere for anything. I will have to finish off the decorating before we can glaze anyway so maybe we should have just left it all in the kiln... but then we have traffic jam problems, (and I have a pretty big workshop)! All the shelves and all the tables are covered and the day seems to have been spent moving things around.

I usually try to keep this blog pretty much to pottery related topics, but the truth is I am in a bit of a panic, trying to get so much made before Rodger's bone marrow transplant. He is going in to hosptial next Tuesday and will be there for a month or longer depending on how it goes. I will be taking the next few weeks off and staying in Glasgow where possible. I do anticipate a pretty difficult few months ahead, with juggling care and keeping home and work ticking over so I probably won't be posting too much, though Rodger has plans to write a transplant blog. ..if he is up to it. Watch this space!

Thursday 1 October 2009

Cat's in the dog house (and dog's away)

Some of the results from the last kiln. Of course I always see where things could have been better, but I was pleased with the life in these ducks.

The lines of the underwater swimmer and dog worked pretty well, though I could have done with maybe a little contrast in the slip colour where the underwater shapes are- lighter or darker perhaps.

I finished a few commissions - two pasta dishes featuring a particular pair of cats.....Not exactly Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser but I must have had T S Eliot in the back of my mind.

Also out of the kiln were the prizes for the 'Hard Rock Challenge' this weekend. (Cycling, and running duathlon). When I went through them to check that all was present and correct, to my horror I noticed that in the Junior category, one was inscribed '4th'.
ER, I wasn't asked to make any 4th prizes, was I? Aaargh, somehow as I was counting, 'four 1sts', (done,tick), four 2nds', (done,tick), all fine - but when it came to the fourth 3rd, I must have written FOURTH on it!
What to do? Well, low temperature enamel has saved the day, enough at least in the short term for some poor child not to be very offended on Saturday!
A difficult birth plate - Ruby, Lilies and Poppies round the edge. How to be inspired by the motif of a ruby? I struggled with this one, but at least the ruby has achieved a sort of glow.
Meet 'Extra', who is now in the dog house. Some poor customers spent nearly 40 minutes choosing a wedding present last Saturday. I wrapped it up and we were just chatting as they were about to leave, when who should come jumping up onto the counter to say hello.
Crash! I was mortified and most embarrassed and they were bitterly disappointed. Did I have another one just the same....? No such luck. She loves to say hello to customers, and has never broken anything before. I will certainly never balance pots on the counter again when she is around!