Thursday 30 September 2010

Hard Rock again and an Artistic Slug

I can't believe that a year has passed by since I was making last year's 'Hard Rock Challenge' prizes. But 49 mugs are all boxed up ready to be presented to the interpid winners of this gruelling duathlon this coming Sunday. I'm going to be marshalling at one of the posts (in the rain if the forecast is right), and shall be cheering on Allie who is doing both the run and the cycle and has been training hard. She has a good chance of winning one of the mugs which she helped to slip and put handles on.

The 'Noah series' dried out eventually and I'll unpack the bisc tomorrow. It has been so humid that I gave up waiting for them to dry out naturally and resorted to lighting the workshop stove just to get things moving. I hoped to get a few more new pieces finished for the Mainhill exhibition and time was ticking by with damp pots going nowhere.

It was becoming difficult to start anything else as I had a shelf traffic jam and the couple of days throwing last week which has been hogging the benches. What a great feeling to get the kiln packed, get everything moved up and order restored.

Perhaps I should employ this artistic slug to help with a little slip trailing?

Thursday 9 September 2010

A Harbour Full of Coracles

When I was in Kendal last weekend, immersing myself in Edun Ara (a fantastic event with singing, dance and drumming, and this year part of the Lakes Alive Festival), one of the participants asked me a simple question. So you are a potter, what sort of pots do you make?

Whether it was because at that moment in time I had a head full of music and not ceramics - but I found it very hard to answer. In fact I never have had a good answer to this question. Surely it can’t be that I don’t know what I make? But somehow I still don’t know how to communicate in a concise sentence WHAT it is I make. It would be so much easier if I could simply say, ‘wood fired stoneware, blue and white tableware, or even slipcast spiders. All rather worrying at this stage in my life and my career, especially as I have been invited down to the East Anglian Potters next month to give them a presentation and demo and generally explain myself.

Maybe I just I follow my nose? This month I decided to make a baby version of the coracle dishes, perhaps with a design of one bee or fish in the middle and they were to be dinky in scale. The first thing that happened is that when the first extrusion went through it became immediately apparent that I had misjudged the scale and they weren’t Mini coracles at all, more ‘Junior’ coracles. Then as Allie and I started to get the curves working they became very boat like indeed. I started to throw a few sailors and gannets and before I knew what I had a fair harbour full!

Di and Bill Bruce from Mainhill Gallery came over last week to discuss what sort of things they would like for their exhibition ‘The Shape of Things’ next month and dropped of this smart invitation. I get the whole back page which is rather good.