Thursday 14 April 2011

A Motley Crew

Last month I made some 'Coleridge' candle holders. Though reasonably happy with a couple of them the finish on the others was pretty disappointing. I was really getting into the theme, so I have been enjoying making some mark two versions.

Using an extruded section as the boat form, the ends are filled with sailors, all based on the narrative of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

I have taken some time to make several test heads. They have all been coloured in different ways and I will test fire them before embarking on colouring the real ones. I really need their expressions to show this time, as the first ones were way too dark. I have used about three different layers of thin slip, dabbed on and then rubbed in with a dry brush, with some oxides later.

Here is the Motley Crew drying in the sun. I had to give them all names so as to identify which is coloured with what. The phone book threw up a few good ones.

Post script is that they came out of the test kiln tonight and I have some beauties. (Charlie Beaver, Ramsey Stitt, Horace Kidd......). Tomorrow I'll get the bigger pieces coloured, yippee.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

John Dix Demo

It’s been a couple of weeks since I went to a John Dix Demo day and I’ve been meaning to post a few photographs. Jan, who had been here the previous week on a work placement, was travelling down there from my place, and it gave me a much needed prompt. So I travelled over the border down to the Solway Ceramics Centre with my friends Su and Hannah - only 12 miles across the Solway as the crow flies, though around 60 or 70 by road.

I have to admit, I come out with hands up - I have never really GOT tea bowls. I have noticed that they are often approached with some sort of hallowed and reverent air, which has has never been a good starting point for me. However I watched and listened to John Dix making his, with increasing fascination. There was much I recognised in the fluidity and economy if his movements. The harmonious calm of hands which knew where they were going and what they were after. I loved the way the wheel turned with a lazy serenity, and the deliberate but controlled irregularity of the form as it developed its own character. I know I when I got home and looked at my own pots they suddenly seemed horribly tight.

But most of all I loved watching him make these long dishes. Thrown without a base, uncurled and thudded onto the table to stretch it some more, then the end pushed over with a confident hand. It could have been a Tai Chi movement.

These fat handled jugs were made to pour with either a right or left hand, a lovely idea.

It was glorious Spring weather last weekend, just perfect for a planned hill walk in the Moffat hills with some friends.

The first real sun for me this year. I felt great that evening and slept so well. I see that I just need to climb a hill every day.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Little Squidgey Amorphous Things

It is really annoying when you have to change your email address, or for that matter your mobile phone number. Even when you THINK you have informed everyone in your address book, there is always someone who has been missed. And then does everyone ever delete the offending address/number? I know I am guilty of having a few duplicate email addresses leading to the oft asked question.... 'Now is this his OLD one, or his NEW one'?

Well for one of the above reasons I have been missing my 'Potfest in the Park' emails, so I had no idea of what this years competition theme might be. However, some dear folk, called 'Us,' took it upon themelves to enlighten me today with this kind post card. Thank you 'Us'!