Saturday, 26 June 2010

Wistfully thinking of paint

There seem to be two themes running parallel at the moment and instead of pots and paint it's been pots and computers! I've had quite a few orders lately which has been very exciting - so lots of tissue, bubblewrap and trips to the post office. Although of course now I'm a little concerned because my stock is so low! So I've also been trying to make lots of pots to catch up.

Summer is upon us and I have a busy show season ahead right through into mid August. So I've also been making preparations like printing out flyers, ordering new moo cards and putting links up here on the blog. I've started a new feature on the side bar called 'Events' to cover upcoming shows. So please do look to your right (!) and see what's on in case you're in the area. I plan to update it regularly over the summer with the latest news. And I'm sure I'll be blogging about the events too as and when they happen.

My other news is I now have a lovely new, much needed MacBook Pro! My old mac was having trouble loading images on-line poor thing and had started to make a strange clickerty whirring noise. I wasn't sure how much longer it would survive. But now I've transferred all my files and settings and have a lovely fast connection and bigger screen. However, a couple of days ago - barely a week after getting my new laptop - I was sitting down late in the evening to finish some emails when I knocked an entire mug of piping hot tea all over it. I couldn't believe it! A pale brown pool of tea all over the place including the coffee table, the carpet and sofa. Priority though was given to the laptop and I went into automatic disaster mode running backwards and forwards with cloths in over-calm silence. Miraculously the laptop survived and didn't explode into columns of tea-smelling smoke. In fact all the tea-soaked items, furniture and carpet are absolutely fine: to look at them you'd never know! Clearly I'd been awarded a get-out-of-jail-free card there!

While all this has been going on I've been planning a new painting in my mind - and it's a bit frustrating that I haven't had time to begin. New ideas for paintings don't come every day! So I hope in the next few weeks I might get a chance to paint - let's see!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Rustic Jug

I've been making these rustic stoneware jugs recently as part of a wholesale order. I usually make a few extra pots when preparing an order to cover accidents like breakages, and this one above is a 'spare' left over from a finished consignment. I decided to list it in my folksy shop today.

It's a lovely simple jug; hand-thrown in stoneware and glazed all over in a wood ash glaze. I love this glaze - it's very easy to use and so far has given reliable, consistent results out of the kiln. The colour is a subtle olive green with a matt finish - although in some places there's a hint of glossiness where the glaze is a bit thicker. And it gives these jugs a no-nonsense, rustic feel I think - which is why I call them 'rustic' jugs!

Anyway, for more details on this little jug visit here!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Napkin Rings and Wooden Printing Blocks

Today I decided to list these napkin rings in my Folksy shop. I designed them to match and complement my tableware range by using the same glazes and a very simple style. So far I've made this first set in white - and hopefully I shall be making more soon!

At first I toyed with the idea of throwing some napkin rings on the wheel: but that seemed much too fiddly. So I've made these by hand building them. I started by rolling out a slab of stoneware clay and cutting out equal sized rectangles. Then I curled these around themselves into a ring shape and fixed the ends by overlapping. They've all been glazed using my usual white gloss glaze both inside and out - this means that the napkin material slides nicely without snagging on bare stoneware. And inside I've also stamped each of the rings with my own pottery seal.

As you can see they have a very simple bird motif on all of them. This was made using a wooden printing block pressed into the clay while still soft. I have a selection of these wooden printing blocks which I bought back in October last year during a visit to London. They're textile printing blocks really, but I find they're perfect for making impressions in clay (and also for printing on paper of course: I've been using them to make pretty wrapping paper on birthday presents!) As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them: they're such lovely things in themselves...