Monday, 1 December 2014

Homes and Gardens Magazine Feature - Bird Tail Pouring Bowls


© Homes and Gardens Magazine December 2014

Recently I found out my 'bird tail' pouring bowls were featured in this month's Homes and Gardens Magazine (December 2014 issue). It was a complete surprise and I'm so pleased - especially as they look great too which is the most important thing!

I have two sizes of bird tail bowls - a small one that fits in the palm of your hand and a larger one about the size of a normal cereal bowl. Both have been featured in Homes and Gardens Gift Guide along with a selection of other Christmas gift ideas for budding chefs.

© Homes and Gardens Magazine December 2014

In the feature they used my blue and white bird bowls but I also make them using a contrasting brown and oatmeal glaze combination in the smaller size. All my bird bowls are available directly from me via my Etsy and Folksy Shops but in the feature they're also stocked by Aram Store in Covent Garden, London. 

It was such a lovely surprise and a great way to end a very busy year...!


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Christmas Crafts at Quarr Abbey 2014



Next week I will be exhibiting in a group show called Christmas Crafts at Quarr Abbey with four other art and craft makers from the Isle of Wight. This will be our fifth Christmas show at the Abbey - our first was back in 2010 (which you can read about here) - so it's become something of an annual event for us!

This year we're joined by Peter Wright of Wright Turned who makes beautiful handmade wooden pieces on a lathe - some of which you can see in the image at the top of this post. It's always good to have a range of different craft disciplines to give people choice and variety in a show. This year I think we have a lovely mix of materials that complement each other well and have a wide appeal - ceramics, textiles and wood. So we're looking forward to it.

Here's the details of our show if you happen to be passing...!


Christmas Crafts at Quarr Abbey 2014

Thursday 20th November – Tuesday 25th November 2014

Open Daily 10.30am – 4.30pm

Quarr Abbey Gallery, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 4ES

Free Admission


Exhibitors:

Jude Allman is a potter who makes hand thrown stoneware vases, bowls, jugs and homeware accessories decorated using simple glaze combinations in a modern rustic style.

Peter Wright of Wright Turned makes natural lathe turned wooden platters, bowls, cups and garden dibbers using wood from native Ash, Oak and Beech trees.

Lis Toft is a maker of intricately decorated porcelain vessels and jewellery with bronze and turquoise flowing glazes.

Sue Wright Handknits is a hand knitter, weaver and spinner who designs unique clothing and homeware accessories including scarves, socks, bags, rugs and runners in soft practical yarns.

Tim England is inspired by fragmented shadow and light, and combines abstract and figurative aspects in both his paintings and ceramics.




Sunday, 7 September 2014

Coffee Set and Coffee Bowls

What a busy summer! Since my last post I've been potting away making lots of pots for wholesale orders and a few private commissions too. And it seems to be a quirk of making pots that sometimes different people ask for similar things. 

This past month the theme was coffee and I was asked to make a coffee set (as seen in the photos above). This included a coffee pot (complete with lid and pouring lip) a lidded sugar bowl and a set of four coffee mugs. Although I've made each of these items separately before this was the first time I've made them together as a matching coffee set. 

The most tricky thing to do was the coffee pot itself of course as it required so many composite elements. The body of the pot is essentially a big jug, but since it was a part of a set, I had to make it big enough to hold a liquid capacity that would pour out and fill at least four of the matching mugs' worth of coffee! Then it had to have a handle strong enough to hold the weight of it plus all that liquid, while at the same time being comfortable to use and pour. And finally it had to have a lid which not only fitted but allowed pouring through the lip or spout whilst in place. As you can see in the photo I also cleaned back the glaze from the rim of the coffee pot to leave a section of un-glazed bare clay. This makes sure the lid doesn't stick to the pot permanently when fired in the kiln.

In the end I was very pleased with the result because everything matched and all the elements worked: and most importantly my customer was happy too! The glaze I used for the coffee set was a new version of my wood ash glaze. This has proved such a popular glaze and works especially well with rustic style coffee themed items! Below is another wholesale order I finished recently: a batch of coffee bowls using another version of my wood ash glaze. I actually have two of these coffee bowls left spare - and both are available in my Folksy Shop now. I hope you enjoy the photos!




Thursday, 24 July 2014

Open Studios 2014

Some of my pots on display

I had a great time at my Open Studio show last weekend. This year I was exhibiting jointly with two other artist/craft makers from the Isle of Wight: Anna Hayward and her daughter Ellen Hayward. They were very kind enough to let me share their studio space - three separate wooden workshops in a lovely garden setting. We were open for four days - Friday to Monday - and had a steady stream of visitors throughout. It was a really successful show with lots of sales and positive responses to our work - and it's so nice to have people come out especially to see you too!


The middle workshop - where I was!


Anna Hayward makes beautiful handmade glass beads and jewellery from her little studio: hence the name of her business Little House Jewellery. Throughout the weekend Anna demonstrated glass bead making using coloured glass rods which are melted in a flame and then slowly cooled in a kiln. Visitors could also assemble their own jewellery pieces using a selection of handmade beads.


Anna's studio

Ellen Hayward is a professional Textile Designer currently specialising in interiors. Throughout the weekend she demonstrated her expert hand weaving skills on her gorgeous AVL loom - as you can see below. Facebook

Ellen's Loom

Ellen's weaving

So a big thank you to everyone who popped in to see us. And an even bigger THANK YOU to Anna and Ellen for letting me share their workspace (and for all the lovely teas and cake!)



The second week of the Isle of Wight Open Studios starts tomorrow for Eastern Wight.