Wednesday 31 July 2013

An OctoPuss at Potfest in the Park

So, what has eight legs and comes 'From the sea'?

An OctoPuss!

The Potfest 'competition' theme this year was 'From the Sea'. I think the standard of pieces was the best ever. My OctoPuss looked very happy on the green lawn. Whether everyone 'got' it or not I don't know, but he had the company of several other word plays.

 It was a great show and I am always amazed by the high standard of work. Truly inspirational. It is such a treat to see the work of and meet so many international potters. All thanks to Chris and Geoff Cox whose brainchild it is and who beaver away, not only seeing to our every need but with their own stand and work on show as well, they are quite extraordinary. Thank you!

The sun shone and although there was a spell of torrential rain, it obligingly came overnight. Perhaps not so good for the potters camping. There were a few camping chairs which looked more like swimming pools on Sunday morning.

'Extra' was very much the model for OctoPuss's bottom - I never mentioned this in my last blog, but a few tears were shed while glazing him!

I would have liked to have photographed all the pieces. But they hopefully they will be on the Potfest website later on. Here are just a few which I managed to capture. This is 'Shellfish' by Richard Dewar. Made up of lots of ceramic shells.

 Garry Uttley's Plaice Mats

  Chis Cox's jelly fish.

 Guy Routledge's Coral fish.

Sue Dunne's waves which moved when you wound the handle.

Toon This's bowl of sharks

My Father has never missed a Potfest yet, and he certainly wasn't going to miss this one!

It was a treat being next to Wendy Kershaw, who shared my studio for this year's Spring Fling. It was Wendy's first year at Potfest in the Park and her illustrated ceramic pictures created a great interest, deservedly so.

We always do a rough plan of how we are going to set up the stand. It really helps on the day, especially when we can be rather tired and overwrought. As in-  just about to set off to find that the caravan lights aren't working! Yes, we were rather later to arrive than planned.

Back home now, unpacked and ready for action. It all takes time though, putting away boxes and re arranging the showroom. OctoPuss has a new home, looking out of the showroom window happily greeting our visitors.

We had a lovely visit from Japanese potter Fumihiro Fuyushiba and his wife Kaoru. They have a week between the Park and exhibiting at the Pens and used some of it to visit Wendy in Renfrewshire and us on the way home. Good to have time to get to know them better. It is hard at the show, when I am 'on duty' to give enough time to other potters and their work.

Well, that is Potfest in the Park over for this year, though Potfest in the Pens is this weekend for anyone who missed the Park.

Sunday 21 July 2013

An Extra special cat

She has been in our family for 15 years so to lose Extra this week has been very sad. It is barely over a month ago that she charmed us by tiptoeing into the workshop where the Feral Choir were running through their songs and sat down to listen to the harmonies with unusual feline interest.  She was called 'Extra' because she was extra to requirements at the time we got her, but soon became an essential part of family life. She was always around to meet us, a constant companion and reassuring presence. She was one of the best natured cats I have known and would play with velvet paws. Rugs were never flat for long, one of her passions was scrabbling them up. She spent her last week under her favourite bush in the rockery listening to the outside sounds. The garden seems very empty now - how we miss her!

Meanwhile in this heatwave Timbalada seems to have been too hot and ‘out for the count’  to notice that she is missing.

Ho-hot! Why oh why have I had so many kilns to fire over the last two weeks.  I have been firing the two kilns ( the small top loader and the big font loading kiln) back to back, only possible if I really push it, as in unloading with sweat trickling down me as was the case yesterday, and then glazing and repacking the same day! I must have managed to get through six weeks work in three. I have moved proceedings outside into the courtyard where there is a bit of shade - the workshop has been unbearable.

 But I am NOT complaining , it has been lovely, more vitamin D absorbed in the last few weeks than in the last three years. Meals outside and a few quick swims in the sea to cool off when the tide obliged.

 It is of course the big push for Potfest in the Park next weekend. I am just about there, though I don’t have quite as many new larger pieces as I would have liked - partly because people kept coming into the showroom and buying the ones I had mentally ‘put on one side’ for Potfest. In past years this hasn’t happened as I have stashed things away, but I have been a little short of pots all year (all the knock-on effect from that awful winter of illness), and have to keep the showroom looking good.

Mind you, three kins still to unpack has to help!

Riddle me riddle me riddle me re,
What has eight legs and comes From the sea?
You might hazard a guess - you may think that you know, 
Come to Potfest next weekend -its all at the show.