Wednesday 19 January 2011

Thank you Mr Fixit

I have been badgering my Mr Fixit for ages. I want to move the pugmill out from the wall a little, ( or rather I wanted Mr Fixit to), so that I can bend the clay side ways as it is extruded. At the moment I can only bend it one way - outwards. Despite being tight to the wall, I did manage this small ripple effect last week. It was enough to explain to Rodger WHY I was badgering him.

He kindly moved it to priority job and many nuts and bolts and angle iron fiddling later, I now have a pugmill set at a slight angle so that I am all set to do a wavy dish.

I have been making some long flat trays, they need to be weighted down as they dry to prevent warping. These are being biscuit fired tonight, so I hope they behave themselves.

I had a whole lot of half finished dishes and plates waiting to be decorated with slip. Here are a few of January's new designs. Whaups (or curlews), to add to the oystercatchers for those bird loving visitors.

Two purring pussies,

and a peeking peacock.

I very quickly can have too many colours of slip out at once. My decorating space becomes an unholy muddle pretty quickly if I'm not careful. When I no longer have a surface I have to stop, stretch and have a tidy up.

But she'll keep me right.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Getting into gear

At last, I began to get my act together this week. I managed to have at least four full days in the workshop, enough at least to get me properly tuned and into gear. Ideas are beginning to flow. The designs for the spotty fish dish above and the 'flappy squares' took shape and whereas the week before I had felt hesitant and unsure, this week they felt bolder and more confident. It just shows, you can't force things.

These have been incised and sprayed with layers of slips and are now drying slowly.

Lovely Christmas present, this one, brings a smile every time I use it!

The icy grip of Winter is still with us. Can you believe the fellow above, a photo that would surely bring a smile to his (anonymous) donor! (There is a sledge under there, he's not just fallen over).

The nights have been extraordinarily clear. The other night the new moon was almost as breathtaking as the eclipse.

Slightly disappointed not to get a stand at Earth and Fire again this year, but I do realise that it is a hard one to get into. However the next day I heard that I'd got into Potfest in the Park which has so far been a really good show for me.

I had a note from the website '' that their online vase competition had been launched. (On request I had sent an image to them last year). My seesaw black twin vase is no. 1 on the first page which is nice for me. It's quite an impressive group of pots, worth looking at. How the judges will be able to make a decision is beyond me.

Saturday 1 January 2011

One, One, One One

Here's to One, One, One One

Or Two thousand and eleven. I like the sound of it, it has a cheerful bouncy sort of ring to it. We toasted the new year in with friends at a small ceilidh in Lauriston, a good and optimistic start for Rodger who was determined to see the year in.

I see the year in a very visual layout with January 1st right at the bottom of the big climb up to Spring. Will I have the energy and inspiration to reach the first rung, let alone get to the top ? Once I have my foot firmly on the ladder it will be fine, I tell myself, don’t be daunted by too much introspection. It is purely the dark midwinter days pulling you back.

The days between Hogmany and New Year disappeared into a general brown mush of thawing snow, much like the splendid chestnut and parsnip soup we had on boxing day but not so appetising.

Could we please just skip the dirty bit now and fast forward to new buds and shoots?

Christmas treats were a walk up the frozen Wyming valley on the edge of the Peaks, and out to Stanwich Edge.

Then sledging at Winster in Cumbria - we nearly got stranded there, it took the family the morning to clear the cars and the long driveway of snow!

Me and my boys, well hatted up.

I should be back into the workshop properly Monday. Pots are beckoning. The water is back on, and the ice bound drains back in use. I did look in a couple of times during the week but never managed to get much of a head of steam up in both senses. Christmas and Hogmany are fine, but there will be something to be said for getting back to what my parents used to call 'glorious monotony.'