Sunday 21 November 2010

'Dark Skies'

I finished these two pieces a while back, but I have been saving them, plus keeping the images back, because they are for Zoe's 'Galloway Dark Skies' exhibition at the McGill Duncan Gallery, opening in a couple of weeks. Zoe used the images in her invitation leaflet and I see the Dark Skies vase is even in D and G Life magazine - thank you Zoe.

I called in to pick up some invitations yesterday but the McGill Duncan Gallery is a dangerous place. It is TOO tempting, with such beautiful things that I immediately become filled with lustful 'wants'. Of course Jill says this is exactly what they are there for! Recently aquired were some Paul Young pieces which looked particularly stunning, well displayed and beautifully lit. I simply had to stroke a few birds and sheep. In total contrast a were a pair of beakers and a teapot, made by Andrew Priestman. Quiet, simple, perfect in form, weight and finish. Uncluttered, and filled with a serene presence. In other words everything my own work is not and I loved them!

This tree bark had such a beautiful natural spiral, some sort of damage like whirling railway lines, it might well feed into a yet-to-be-made table, a far off floating idea which will have to wait until after the New Year.

Right now I still have plenty of slip decorated orders to finish. I never know at what point to say, 'Too late now for Christmas', but I hate to disappoint and will no doubt end up in a total last minute panic. Think the cut of is definitely next week though.

Yesterday I ended up doing a small glaze test as the new mix, a big batch of 10,000gms looked and behaved in such an odd way I didn't have the confidence to proceed. It was a new batch of ingredients, possibly the lead bisilicate (which has doubled in price), is from an entirely different source. I have a small and invaluable test kiln, and all seems to be ok, so even though the mix is white instead of cream in colour it seems to be behaving. Phew!

Today became filled with Sunday things, such as making a Christmas cake, and a lovely cliff walk. (Actually it was a cliff hobble, I had a 'Capoeira' beginners class the day before, great fun, sort of Tai Chi meets samba, but I think I over did it)! I also spent an hour trying to get my mobile phone monthly contract changed over to Pay as you Go. Four 'advisers' and queuing systems later I actually spoke to a human being with a soul.....

But ho ho, such a warm workshop awaits me tomorrow. Rodger had been on a mission to insulate and now we have underfloor polystyrene in place, plus double glazing - perspex sheeting held in place with magnetic tape. The windows look amazing because they have never been so clean and spider free in years. Roof insulation still to come. The only thing is that I am USED to dressing like 'Michelin Man' in the winter and now I keep getting too HOT!


  1. Love that top image with the little gannet on the prow.

    I know that feeling of being in a craft gallery and not having enough cash with all those fabulous things looking at you!! I love Paul Young's pieces too. I just wish I could afford one.

    I do love Silver Beeches too, they are all like a shower/cloud of gold with pale trunks and dark whippy branches. They are so beautiful. Good luck with the exhibition. Your work will also be looking at buyers and tempting them!

  2. I completely agree with Griffin. Hey those trees are amazing, I wonder what caused the lines in the bark??

    Regarding Lead Bisilicate prices.. You might be interested to read what we pay here... 2.5Kg Lead Bisilicate is 63.06 NZ Dollars which converts to 30.58 GBP! A 25KG bag is 472.50 NZD which is 227.13 GBP.
    It is truly frightening and almost makes it impossible for me to use it which is very, very sad, as I love to throw earthenware clay. The cost of low fired glazes is a distinct incentive for me to stay with high fired work.