Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I Want A Drink of Water...

I've been listening to this a lot lately. Play it a couple of times while you get up and do something, it'll make you thirsty! What a great track, it takes me back to when I first heard it, sharing a flat with my good buddy Craig. We were really getting into Van's 'noises'. That guy makes some incredible sounds. Again, I'm going to mention Listen To The Lion, amazing grunts and growls! Not sure whose voice I'd rather have Neil Young's or Van Morrison's... i think Neil and then I put Van on and it just hits you, that man has one amazing voice. Proper music, full of emotion. Brilliant.... turn it up!

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Kiln Sitter Issue

The bisc firing seemed to all go ok. The kiln i was given obviously works just fine, pheww! Nothing exploded and died, but then i think we did take it slowly. next time I will fire it a bit quicker. The main issue is this second dial on my kiln sitter. I just can't quite get my head around it. I've done a lot of online searches and yet I've never seen a Dawson kiln sitter with this on! It's an LT-3KR... it's the 'R' that seems to be the rarity! ...obviously the model with this Heating dial thing. If any of you guys understand it let me know... or if you know someone that will. I think what we did was right, but I like to REALLY understand these things. Anyway, I'm very happy to have achieved this first firing, now things can really move forward. Now I need to get that glaze mixed... just need to go grab some more ball clay first. Happy, happy, happy. Never thought I'd ever see that thing get fired!!

Olympic Offering

I created this piece for my agent's homepage for the start of the Olympics today. You can't use the Olympic rings or even mention the Olympics, it's all very tight legally. I decided to focus on the theme of balls, there are lots of different ball sports in the olympics. Olympic Balls.. there, I've said it... but don't sue me!!

basketball, tennis, hockey, water polo, table tennis, volleyball

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Bisc Is On!

My first ever bisc firing is on... well, we think it is. Still can't quite figure out this kiln sitters settings, so we're making an educated(?) guess. It looks like this kiln i was given works though, there's definitely heat happening! I do need to figure it out properly though so i may post a pic of the controls and ask for any help you can offer. It's a Dawson LT-3KR model. I'll let you know how it all goes. Better make that glaze up if it all works out! Fingers crossed :^)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hastings Pirate Day 2012

Sunday was Hastings Pirate Day, and the town was swamped with them! I braved the crowds to take my two boys down to be part of the World Record attempt for the most pirates in one place. Previously held by Penzance in Cornwall, their record of 8,734 was smashed with an amazing 14,231... and that was only the ones that bothered to go and be counted. Many stuck with their beer and sunshine!! Here's a pic of one of my little pirates (the other one decided about a minute before we left that he wanted to go 'normal'... as i had painted his pirate facial hair a millimetre out or something ridiculous, don't ask!!). I don't seem to have any of me as pirate, if one pops up i'll stick it up.... maybe.

and yes, that is sunshine in the background!

Waiting in the counted area

Monday, 23 July 2012


I've had an idea for a project for a few years now. I haven't done an illustratory blog project that folk can get involved with. others have done (are doing) them, but i haven't. a particularly fine one was the brilliant Jonathan Burton's The Perils of Archibald Toddle. Anyway, I'm starting one, it's called 'Versus' and I'm pitting fictional characters against eachother. You'll get the chance to offer up characters and I'll pick the next challenger and decide the outcome, of which i will draw the moment of victory.. degrees of creative endings will depend on my moods! Would Luke Skywalker defeat the Mad Hatter? Could the Cowardly Lion mix it with Willy Wonka? We shall see! Now, I'm not promising this will amount to much, or that i won't just get board of it all and drop it for some new thing, but the important thing is I've started it. First up, I've decided, is Mr Bump. Man, that guy's been feeling the pain for years and now he's lookin' to dish some out. Bring it on!! ( now let's hear it from you, just leave me a comment, you don't have to be chatty, just a fictional character will do. If you can't comment just email me through my website... it's there on the sidebar.. or leave me a comment on facebook/twitter. Don't be shy!)

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Cup Of Me

I just finished this off yesterday from the night before. I only figured out the other week that bamboo makes perfectly formed cups when cut down... and then i found two of these tankard sized ones in a charity shop. They had some crappy brush work on them, but that sanded off easily enough and then i set to work with a marker pen. I wasn't sure how they'd work, but this one told me all i need to know, they work great. I shall be making similar in clay (don't ask, but the kiln bit will be happening soon). I also have a couple of other things in clay on the go, so i haven't dropped clay for bamboo! but I like that i can sit in the evenings doing some of these. I hope there's no identity thieves reading this blog! i just wanted to have key streets I've lived on, places I've studied, kids, grandparents, parents etc etc. This will be my go to cup for keeping me watered, I'll give it an ale test soon!... anyone want one?? ( though not sure the work time could be reflected in price! It may have to be for gifts (lucky people!!). Although, there are a few of you bloggers I'd be more than happy to make one for.... I'll have to get my supply of cups soon, but got some bamboo 'logs' on the way. It's great when you find something new to play with. I could do with an aircraft hangar for a studio/workshop!

Early Stages, just warming up!

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Clay Room

Just thought I'd show you my set up at home for making my pots... remember when i used to do that?! :) . I'm feeling the urge again now and have lots of ideas, so i will be in a making phase again soon! Well, i have been making, but just not in clay. Once the clay is out of the bag I'm fine, but at 9 o'clock at night i often don't feel like doing that. I need to juggle my time better. Anyway, can't recall if i've put any pics of the room up before, so here it is. (I really need a bigger/sturdier work bench!)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Double Bottle Cap Man

As promised, following on from the glimpse of it in the shack. I found this old post, from a bed, dumped outside a house on the street and saw the potential. It was originally meant to go out in the garden, in a border somewhere, but now it's looking like an inside object. Animals are next on my list, better source some more caps!!.. or just drink more.

They also remind me a bit of epi de faitage, with their 'stacked' nature.
I have ideas on that too once i can throw a half decent pot!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Garden Shack/House Thing

Following on from Tracey's words on blogs v facebook (most of which i agree with, but time makes me do otherwise!) I've decided to let you in on the recent building of a new hut/house/shack/workshop thing at the end of our garden. Back in April my folks came down for the weekend, they hadn't seen the boys since Christmas. Anyway my boys seemed to take great delight in spending the weekend showing their Grandad and Nan their butts... I've obviously done a sterling job bringing them up (they're only 4 and 5, just in case you were imagining two hairy teenagers!!). When they weren't being mooned by my two, my Mum was helping us sort out our front garden (finally) and me and my Dad started work on a summerhouse/shack (potential future workshop?), down the end of the garden. When i say me and my dad... i should say more my dad and me... well, my dad and me standing behind him watching and handing the appropriate spirit level/tape measure/drill! Hey, I'm learning! If there's one skill I'd like to have it's being able to put up my own shack! (well along with an ever growing list of other skills, such as being able to throw pots, general DIY skills and better social skills to name a few!!)
Anyway, we got the base block work done and had the frames ready for the windows and doors. We were fortunate to have a 10ft wall at the end of the garden and a 5ft wall down one side, so that's practically the back and one side already done!
My parents came back a couple of weeks later to try and finish it off. We already had the windows from a salvage yard for £50 and a pair of doors, also for £50, so we were doing ok. It's not a huge structure, but 11ftx 8ft is decent for the size of our garden (this is not America!). We never got it finished, but they returned again last weekend and we just about finished it off. Just got to put some guttering to run into a water butt and a few little bits of trim to tidy it up.. Going to let it weather the new wood a bit then get going to hit it with some colour (decisions, decisions???)  I'm hoping this little house at the end of the garden will help me engage a bit more with the bit inbetween it and the house... I can hope!

First weekends work, clearing the site, block work and lower frame.
Sadly we had to lose a rather grand fig tree to make way for it,
but it had so few figs.. and not great ones either, so i didn't feel so bad.

Second weekend and the windows and door frame go in.

... and roof supports, roof boards  and eventually doors (much cursing and re-hanging!)

Third weekend and the last bits of panelling and roof felting/flashing, plus additional glazing etc

Just about finished, guttering and a few odd bits to do.
That's a cherry tree in front of it, pretty poor crop this year, it's normally loaded.

inside is deceptively spacious, just need paint and a bit of tarting up.
More on that large bottle cap man soon!

There's a mains water pipe coming through the wall, so needs
boxing in and making a bench seat along that wall.

Side walls have the added glazing at the top for morning/evening light.