Wednesday 20 January 2010

Snow gone and shelves filling

The snow has gone, the ice has melted and I have a workshop with water again, in which I can work with hands that can once again feel what they are touching. Outside everything is now a wet, grey and leafless porridge, but the days are definitely a little longer and I've made a start, and there's something to show for it. Having some extra help from Allie this month has focused my mind and together we got some dishes extruded using my new die - plus I got a batch of mugs thrown which Allie put handles on for me today. It is so encouraging to see the the shelves filling up again.

There is always an extra surprise with a new die and this time I noticed that one boat like bend gave a simple yet effective dish with little extra help.

The original idea was to curve the clay as it came out, and although I do like the long narrow flow of these dishes, I found them challenging to decorate. There is so much going on with the shape they seemed to require very little - a difficult lesson in restraint.

I tried something new with the handles on this one - splitting the tube and rejoining, to add an extra dynamic.

I unwrapped the sections of a half started seat - kept damp with regularly sprayed kitchen roll and polythene since.....LAST JULY! (There has been no time for big stuff since then). It took a while to scrape off the now mouldy and disintigrating paper towels, but remarkably it was still intact, (no cat prints or 'clumsy oaf' prints even). Over the weekend I played with several ideas for it. Whatever I had in mind last July I have moved on from. I was going to integrate an owl idea into the base. The owl was to hold up the seat section, but when I realised that the overhang was really going to be too risky I went back to the drawing board. Today I extruded some leg sections which I will use as a starting point. I think at this stage I just have to get the structure standing and then see where it can go.

I was just beginning to think that maybe ‘Secret Santa’ was lost on his way to South West Scotland, or maybe there had been an uneven number of Secret Santa participants, when on Monday a parcel, covered in an array of glorious stamps, was waiting for me on my eturn from Glasgow. So thank you VERY much to Dan for a glowing and edibly rich woodfired mug. Yumbo! I shall enjoy very much.


  1. So sorry to keep you guessing for so long, but I'm happy to know you received it! I've never been part of a secret Santa before. It was fun.
    I like what your doing with those dishes.

  2. I always love to see what you're up to Christine. Nice mug from Dan too.

  3. Nice mug! it wouldn't matter even number or odd number though, however many names go in there's the same amount of names to come out again.

  4. wow winter can be such a downer and all that stuff to deal with but yey through the mush and busy again, your new dishes are super..and yey dan nice one you'll enjoy the new mug for quite a while...

  5. Lovely to see your work in progress. I meant to leave a comment ages ago, and time has flown! I was amazed how you were able to keep the half started seat damp since July, that should go in the Guinness book of records! I like the curving clay idea for the dishes, it must be fun getting creative with the pugmill!

    Best Wishes, P.

  6. I love your work, we don't have any thing like that around these parts. Thanks for sharing, your quite an inspiration. I'm working in terracotta and experimenting with glazes, low fire.