Thursday 22 December 2011

A toast to you all

To all those who follow this blog - A toast to you this Winter Solstice, and wishing you a Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2012. Thank you too to those of you who have left kind and interesting comments over the year. I know that I am very bad at replying but I do appreciate them all.

Oh ..and our heating is working again back on! Yippee. (It's also suddenly got milder , but hey ho from now on we will be toasty warm again, all ready to get cracking after the Christmas break).

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Christmas orders completed

The month is rushing by and it is the winter solstice tomorrow. Hurrah, soon the days will start to grow longer again.

It seems so much harder to keep up the making momentum on these dark and cold days. Hopefully we might get the workshop heating system fixed this week which would certainly help.

The weekend brought a feast for eyes and ears, with the beautiful low winter light on the estuary in the afternoons followed by evenings of song with the Feral Choir's performances of 'Forgotten Carols' and winter readings.

These are some of the dishes I made using the new slab roller. I dug out one or two press moulds that I were old favourites - ones that had survived the Autumn blitz and it was a joy to roll wonderful huge uniform slabs and flop them in.

It was lucky that I had kept a few of these moulds, as I had no sooner finished the GRAND CLEAROUT when was promptly asked to make another version of this oval dish to replace a broken one from several years ago. I used the cat chase design again, as it seemed to fit the shape rather well and they wanted something feline.

Then I had a last minute order for another school teachers retirement presentation gift. Same school as last time in fact and they wanted a similar, but different design. I used a square dish press mould which I had fortunately decided to hold onto.

The moto of the school is 'Reach for the stars' and I was to portray the old building.

Oh my goodness, I shall have to double my prices if anyone asks for a BUILDING again. They are not my forte, and I spent ages on this one. It came out well, I have to admit, but all those windows....

So at last all my Christmas orders are completed and posted off or collected. I can start to think about what is round the corner for next year. One thing I know is that I will be doing the 'Earth and Fire' show in Rufford again. I was selected this time! Amazing, (I had sort of given up on that one as it seems so hard to get in to), exciting and a bit scary too. It's going to be a busy Spring...

Thursday 8 December 2011

December pots

Winter Arrived over the weekend. Not exactly the snow packed drive to Corsock of the year before, but snow fell all the same, in a slushy sort of way. Despite that there was a record attendance at the craft fair, at times hardly room to move.

It was an enjoyable but exhausting day, so many people I know to say hello to as well as selling pots. My boxes were considerably lighter when it came to packing up.

These small oval dishes are quite dinky. I have made them before with the matching spoons, but over the summer I was asked by a customer to make a lid to fit one that she had bought earlier. It was fiddle to make a lid for an existing pot, with all the shrinkage - and an oval one at that. But it made me think that I should try a few with lids.

In fact the last kiln was nearly all small scale slipware - I really needed to stock up the shelves. It has been good to see the showroom full and welcome looking again, for any brave souls who may venture out in these stormy days.

Today has been a day to 'batten down the hatches', with storm force 10 or 11 raging outside. I am amazed that we haven't lost our power...yet.

Our swanky new heating system has broken down, it froze up because it's internal thermometer is mis-reading. So much for my bragging, it's been long- johns and thermals this week, until an engineer can get hold of the new part.

One or two awkward commissions completed. The land rover took an inordinate amount of time to do. Weird subject matter for a mug perhaps, but I am strangely proud of how well those land rover colours turned out.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Penguins, penguins....

Come and join the penguin party at Corsock Craft fair this Sunday.

I spent rather a lot of late nights last week completing these little fellows.
A bit of fun and rather different in scale to the ceramics seats of earlier this year. They are ever in demand but I limit them to Christmas seasonal making, otherwise I would go bonkers.

I think that I had the image of the painting of the skating vicar by Sir Henry Raeburn in mind when I perched this penguin. He should have had his wings folded though.

These are Corsock ceilidh penguins practising for the renowned Corsock ceilidh in December, tickets for which can only be found at the craft fair.

I had a good kiln load of pots out on Friday, a last minute push to get some new work finished for tomorrow. I took quite a lot of photos today, so I'll post a few more next week. We have managed to incorporate a PHOTOGRAPHIC corner into the new workshop layout, albeit on top of the slab roller, but easy to cover with a white board. Hopefully from now on I'll be better at keeping records of my work. It was only in sorting out some applications this month that I realised how bad I had been at recording my work this year - pots have disappeared which are now only a memory in my sketch book. Even today I had a nice group of woman who came down from Glasgow (especially it seems which was rather amazing - they had seen some of my pots in 'No 16' restaurant), who went off with a couple of small but sweet pots before I had finished setting the camera up. Two pots less pots for Corsock.