Friday, 30 September 2011


I saw this ages ago, but watched it again the other day, so i thought i'd share it with you. It's worth making the time and watching it through. There are so many interesting points, including ADHD and the drugs given to our kids. Food for thought.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pictures on Walls

My friend John sent me this quick snap of my work on his wall (in a lovely old frame i found months ago). The window, just out of shot, looks straight out to sea...and i'm very envious. I'd love to look out to sea and watch storms build and pass... much more than sunsets... maybe i wouldn't if i actually owned the place about to be battered by the storm. Though our storms aren't quite the same as those Stateside! Anyway, It's always nice to see a piece of my work out there in the real world, doing what it should do. Pictures in frames, on walls, in homes, always look so much nicer than just an image on a website... or in an online shop.. hint, hint.
Maybe it's about time i had a small exhibition and let a few of these pieces breathe? Get them out there to mingle with real people (real people with a drink in them... much more purchase friendly!)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

From My Desk

I'm always happy with charity shop figurines.... and googly eyes!
I've got some fresh pots on the go at home so there will be some new pottery coming soon. I just stuck this up as i always mean to put a few more of the objects around me up on here.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sewer Tile Art

...Or "End of Day" art. This was the stuff made by folks that worked for the companies making sewer pipes in North America. They would use up any leftover clay and glaze after hours, to make their own items, for gifts or functional use. I've only recently discovered this ceramic sideline and I'm pretty fond of it. It's amazing how new aspects pop up all the time online, even though you've been looking at very similar stuff for months!
Anyway, i picked this up at a house clearance shop a while back as it reminded me of the clay head above (only mine's in cement.... I'm tempted to slap on a bit of gloss paint.)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Slipware Face Cup

Here's that little cup that i posted to Matt and he fired and glazed for me. It was so nice to finally see how all the slips had worked, or not. I was happy with the results, even though my white slip was probably a bit thin. It seemed to work Ok over the body, but where it's over the black slip you can see that it's thin. Most of it's use has just been on the clay body, so most of what I have already made should come out ok. Same with my black slip i think, but then I'd never really intended for a jet black, just something much darker.. which I've got. I'll probably make my first batch of glaze a bit darker, bit more iron oxide, than the one Matt used on this pot.
I'm so grateful to Matt for all his time, help and assistance. It makes all the difference when you're starting out. Hopefully one day I'll have picked up enough knowledge to pass on to someone in a similar position.
Cheers Matt!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Picked this up the other day, along with the two slipped dishes, which i think are Middle Eastern (?)
... now I'll have to come clean to Jakki!..."they didn't cost much, i promise!"
I do like those Bellarmine/ Bartmann forms, this one is about about 9-10" tall. I'll get around to making my version of one at some point. Anyway, just thought I'd share it and get some pottery back on this blog! I've a couple of posts i need to do. Matt sent me a picture of a couple of little cylinders I'd thrown at his place and he'd slipped and decorated them, it was really nice to see. I also had my first throw on my wheel at the weekend.... hmmmm... mixed results! My first was the best and then i got distracted by the amount of effort the modified kick took to keep any speed up. Then I knocked one onto the floor, along with my glasses deciding to fall apart mid throw and fell straight into the tray of slop! sheesh. It was frustrating.. and messy! Anyway, i decided to do away with the modified seat and am going to stand and kick. I also had to figure out how to get a good brace for centering, the sides of the tray are flush to the wheel head. With no seated thigh to use i had to have a think. Think i may have solved it with a small plank across the tray, in front of the wheel. i can then rest on that to give me enough elevation to not skin my wrist on the wheel! I can easily remove it once i get going.
It was always going to be a steep learning curve!
I also realised the wheel wasn't quite level when i used it and I'm now concerned that i may have damaged it. It now has a slight clunk when i kick it, it was beautifully silent before. Trust me. Darn it!

Hey, Matt's just emailed me the pic of those pots. These are the 4th and 5th pots I've ever thrown, so it's very early (low cylinder) days ! It's a starting point and I'm glad Matt tarted them up. I'm sure I'll have a phase of firing/keeping my early ones, but as i go on I'm sure a lot more will just get reclaimed. It's always good to remember where you started!

I also had a chat with Kate, a local potter at the weekend and she has kindly made the suggestion of using her kiln. I need to have a chat about the logistics and practicalities of that, but I'm very(very) grateful to her for the offer. Things could move on a stage soon then. Now i need to get back into making things, my 2D illustration work and websites has kind of taken all my attention lately.
There, i managed to get all 3 possible  posts into one, bet you're thankful for that!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

...Go Home !

Here's a little set of images I've been working up recently. They may become prints in the shop someday. I'd like to screen print them and I've kept these all to only 3 colours, just to get me thinking that way.

I wanted this last vampire one to have something of an Edward Gorey feel, so i added the hatch shading. Now it just looks like something my friend Tom Gauld might have done ( have a good look at his site, he's an amazing artist, as well as a lovely guy... makes you sick!). It was good to catch up with Tom and all the other illustrators and my agents, Heart, at their Summer bash and Camp on Sat. I took my boys on my own as Jakki was working, but they behaved better than i expected and the camping over night was a lot less stressful than i was anticipating! ( the booze helped!!)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

SHOP is open for business!

Well, I got here eventually! Yes, my online shop is open for business. I still haven't given it a full test run to make sure the payments run smoothly, It should be ok though. I just need to put it out there now, it's been holding up the rest of my life! Have a look, let me know what you think and don't feel obliged to buy anything, honestly. The website is now all finalised too and everything, website, shop, blog, should all link up to each other now.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Better late than never

Last weekend i finally got a chance to meet up with Blogger Matt. My little family had a nice long weekend break up at my folks in Northamptonshire, giving my boys the chance to see their grandparents, great grandparent, aunt and two cousins. On the Saturday we decided to leave the boys with their grandparents and headed across country to see Matt and Tiggy in Evesham. I've been in touch with Matt for about a year (his help and advice has been invaluable) although I'd never met him in person before. It was great to finally meet and talk pots for a few hours, I don't get many chances to do that at home! Man, Matt's got some pots, any followers of his blog who have seen a peep inside his house will already know this. Mind you, i think ALL potters have got a lot of pots... I've seen inside those cupboards (Ron)!
Matt was generous enough to let me get on his wheel and give me a few pointers on throwing ( I now have my wheel up in my workspace, so hopefully this week i start my time on the wheel) Who knows how many pots i will have to throw to get anywhere near what i want... but that's part of the fun right?!
Matt was also very generous with his pots and I now have some very nice pots kicking about my house... and some very tasty soaps, thanks to Tiggy... go and buy some! This is a lovely tea bowl/ cup / handleless mug?... whatever we're calling them these days... I'll stick with cup. I've enjoyed a few drinks from this one down at my studio.

Anyway, thanks Matt and Tiggy, me and Jakki had a great day... sorry you had to lose one of your precious free days!!
 Oh, Matt also fired a pot of mine that i sent him in the post a while back and it was sitting there waiting for me and i walked right past it! I'll put a pic up of it in the week, I've left my camera down the studio. I packed that little bit of greenware very well, but i was still surprised to find out it had made it. It was really good to finally see a piece glazed and fired, to see how my slips had worked out ( a little thin on the white, but it should still be fine on the other pots).

I've been slack blogging too, as there's so much other stuff i have to give attention to. I'm very nearly there with the online shop. Postage, has been giving me a headache!! I have to say every little step has been hard won. I'm not a natural with things technological, but I've plugged away and google sure helps answer all those little niggles that could have taken me forever to figure out on my own. It's amazing what bits of html code you pick up along the way! ( along with a multitude of new passwords!!) Keep your eyes peeled, it should be up on Tuesday.. obviously I'll let you know here on the blog.

I'm taking my boys to my agent's Summer bash tomorrow, so I'll report back on that too. Should be good, always nice to catch up with everyone and share a drink or two.