Friday 19 February 2010

The Eagle has landed!

I got a couple of days in on my seat this week. I really love making big things, although it feels a bit indulgent. When I was at college I was forever making enormous pots. In those heady days we had maintainence grants and materials were FREE! When I set up my own pottery I had to learn to throw properly and scale down somewhat, with the occasional giant pot appearing now and then for treats. The trouble is I have got the large scale bug back, and there is so much that I want to make.

I struggled with the head. I was going for 'essence' of eagle in general, but the head was in danger of becoming a bit overworked. I had already taken it off once and re-positioned it, but today I nearly took it off again. I think I improved it by cutting out the eyes, so it has had a reprieve.

The talons presented an even greater problem. How to consolidate those wide 'legs' with some sort of representation of the talons. I thought that perhaps I could get away without feet at all but that didn't look right. My initial attempts were too small and insignificant, so I resorted to using a tube.There is something about bending an extruded tube especially with some ridges in it, that gives a great vitality.

I eventually made a special extrusion for the shape of the wing tips. Even then I ended up cutting and insetting but I do like the thick sturdy looking result.

So, nearly there. I am just lining out ideas for the glazed areas and then it will be a long slow drying out, with fingers crossed.

Meanwhile the gallery/showroom has been quite busy this week with half term holidays. When we were stock taking I put a whole lot of 'bits' of old stock in a box, not exactly seconds, but pots which have never really breathed much life and I have had no real desire even to have on display. We set up a 'sales' table, which has been going great guns. I've been topping it up every day and have just about got rid of all the poor old undesirables.
BARGAINS! I should be happy to have the money in the bank instead of cluttering up my shelves, but there is something rather depressing as well. Here I am striving for perfection, but how many people really care as long as they have a bargain!

Sunday 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's day

Happy Valentine's day. The froth on Barnbarroch Pottery coffee is becoming a legend. It looks especially good today, particulary in these grand mugs . On the left is Rodger's Chris Lewis coffee mug, and on the right is my morning coffee mug, made by Margaret Gardiner.

After a 'bitty' sort of January, ( lots of half jobs, half a kiln packed, half a load of pots slip decorated, half a brain half the time), this month seems to be heading in a more productive direction. Not that last month wasn’t busy. Just too many job jobs, such as unblocking land drains, moving logs, stock taking and other such tedious delights.

However, pots are now filling the shelves and I am even making a bit more progress on my latest seat. The base and top were none the worse for their long mouldy confinement under polythene.

The legs are two roughly triangular shaped extrusions joined back to back. I got them on and then left them to firm up pretty well before Allie and I lifted the seat into position. They seem to be supporting it quite happily, though the seat itself was lighter than the first one I made last year being a sandwich with just a couple of structural ridges between. I am hoping that it will soon fly, though more of this next time.

From a huge seat to tiny little jugs

...and little dishes made from one of the new dies I made last month. They are quite small and just take a few little fishes.

There are always a few fiddly little orders to fit in. I had a rather unexciting order for a restaurant in Glasgow of 20 tiny salt pots and tea light holders plus some tiles for their cloakrooms. The tiles are still drying slowly weighted between suction boards. But I enjoyed making this christening mug for a child with a very grand long name , (here bisc fired and waiting to be glazed).

I had promised a to let Annette have the use of the workshop for a pottery party. Annette worked with us for many years before she became involved in parenthood. Her daughter Amber is seven and it was all very girly. Amber’s idea was that they should all make models of their pets to the music of High School Musical, and it was all very pink and fluffy!

I am not sure who had an elephant as a pet.