Sunday, 29 January 2012

Chinese New Year and hot bisque

Enjoyed watching the celebrations in Manchester today. Amazing collage of colour and sound.

Last nights bisque firing went a bit pear shaped. The gas bottle I was using was getting low and temp began to drop when I was about 100 degrees from cone 06. I changed bottles and turned up the pressure. i gave it about 20 minutes - my mistake was to go and watch tv, as when I went out to check the kiln I'd over shot my firing temp by about 60 degrees. I just hope that the pots are still porous enough to take the glaze well - I have found in previous firings to 04 that they're not porous enough - we'll seenext wekend!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Inane rambling

9:51pm and I've just come in from the studio - Yey! I overcame the odds tonight, warmed the water, lit the heater, cut and weighed the clay, turned the radio on and really enjoyed throwing a couple of storage jars and lids.
So now, what to do next? Well I'm aware that at the moment no one is reading this blog, so my aim for the next half hour is to finish writing this and then do a bit of research on how to find subscribers. Interesting content is what it's all about I'm sure. Now there's a challenge! It's the white canvas in front of the artist situation - writer's block! So what do you do if you're an artist or a writer with no idea where to start? Well you take an idea and you work on it and you watch it grow. So what's my idea?'s growing this germ of a business idea. there are so many little steps to take in so many different areas. There's maintaining the website - still needs lots of work. There's developing a range of ware - still needs work. There's marketing - needs starting. There's finding outlets for my work - guess what? Needs work. There's maintaining an interesting blog - aaagh! At least no one's reading this waffle yet! :-)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

One step back :-(

9:30pm. I finished my planning for tomorrow's school day about 15 minutes ago and then talked myself out of going into the studio, lighting the gas heater, warming some water, kneading the cold clay, weighing it out and throwing a handfull of mugs. And now, as you can see I'm trying to justify my weak, lazy attitude!
I'd love to become a professional potter, I really would, but is it ever going to happen with my current lifestyle? Fortunately I have quite a bit of stock from the past couple of weeks so, I feel I can justify a night off.
I'd love to hear from any other potters on how they made the transition into pottery. Is it possible when you have a demanding career, two young children, a huge mortgage and very limited time? I'm sure that we all go through these moments of self pity. Thinking about it now, being a full time potter must be a life that's littered with moments of doubt and uncertainty. I suppose that I need to learn to deal with the lows; use them as something to learn from, turn the problem on it's head and use it to fuel progress toward my goal.

I'll bounce back tomorrow!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Glaze firing results

I'm quite pleased with the results of this firing. Just a bunch of mugs bowls and hearts to pad out the stock for the upcoming Bakewell craft fayre, but even so the glaze effects were good.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I've started to dig the foundations of my new veg patch behind the studio.
I read in Monty Donn's 'The complete gardener', that digging can be completely satisfying. I tend to agree with him. It's hard work, but when you've finished you can rest and actually see the results of your efforts. I'm sure that it's a similar reason why I enjoy making pottery so much. In fact digging and pottery have so much in common. The rhythmical, repetitive proces; the close contact with the earth and the sense of achievement. Hopefully, in spring I'll be able to look out of the studio window and watch my dinner growing!

23:02 and I've just come in from 3 hours of glazing and kiln loading all ready to be lit in the morning! It's been a really full day of work and now that I'm finally sat down with a beer in hand I can really feel that sense of satisfaction that comes from hard work and a job finished