Thursday 27 June 2013


I am off to the ICF in Wales tomorrow, for a big dose of inspiration. Two years ago I found the event really uplifting - with a great blend of practical activities to watch and brilliant potters demonstrating and talking about their processes.
I am particularly looking forward to meeting Joe Finch, who will be building kilns - he did the design for the fast-fire wood kiln that I have built.
I expect to come back with more enthusiasm than ever to create better ceramics and insights into how other potters thrive.

Friday 21 June 2013

Letting Go

I'm off on my travels over the next couple of weekends, this one to celebrate my wife's birthday on Dartmoor with our daughters and the next at the International Ceramic Festival in west Wales.
Meanwhile the Ancient Wessex Network team are doing their thing, hosted by the National Trust at Max Gate in Dorchester. I am sure they will manage very well without me!
We have a busy time with the network this summer, which I am really looking forward to.
News just in is that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a large grant to the local South Dorset Ridgeway AONB project over the next 5 years. I hope I can help them achieve their aims to promote the area and educate the visitors.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Archive Hour

I've just finished publishing the archive webpage for the recent wood firing. That is a time for reflexion and consideration "in the cold light of day" - after a period of handling the results while cleaning them up and then taking the photographs and preparing them for the internet.
Laurence and I are very happy with the pots and have just about caught up on some sleep.
Take a look at the archive at this link.

I spent the day at the Upwey Hall, making some more Iron Age replicas for the Hengistbury project and keeping an eye on Laurence and his fellow exhibitors during their first exhibition as young emerging artists. It was great to see their enthusiasm and vitality, both through their work and their attitudes. I look forward to seeing them all develop.

Friday 14 June 2013

Open All Hours

Fired and opened the wood kiln over the last few days and nights. With some great results.
Heavily reduced toasted surfaces and brilliant ash flecks on the pale glazes.
Now for some catching up with sleep.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Back to Normal

With the end of the Upwey Potters' annual show, as part of the Artwey Open Studios, I am heading back to normality - whatever that might be!
It has been such a pleasure working with the other Upwey Potters and meeting our fans. The vibe has been very positive, with people enjoying themselves and finding comfort and happiness in what we do.
The wood firing kiln has been almost fully loaded with pottery, ready to fire on Wednesday. I am very pleased with what went into the kiln, both my own goodies and in particular the work by Laurence Eastwood - for an 18 year old he has recently produced some really splendid pottery. He is so full of enthusiasm and creativity, some of which has rubbed off on me! Laurence is hoping to get some worthy pots out of the kiln  - just in time for his exhibition this weekend - the poster for which is below.

Friday 7 June 2013

The Closing Stages of Open Studios

Coming to the end of the Artwey Open Studios, with the Upwey Potters.
It has been an interesting time, a great chance to talk to fans and admirers (and people who stumble across us when falling out of the Wishing Well Cafe).
Fellow Artwey OS participant Susan Hughes has discussed her views on her blog :-
I've been burning the candle at both ends (and in the middle to boot at times), trying to get "stuff" done. Threw 80 pots yesterday, beakers and small bowls, been turning, decorating and raw glazing them today, hope to get them ready for wood firing next week, we started loading the kiln this morning. That'll be stock for the summer events.

Sunday 2 June 2013

All Raku'd Out

I've spent the weekend firing my portable Raku kiln at the Dorset Art Fair, over a hundred small globes were glazed and fired for the entertainment of the visitors - some even got sold straight from the kiln! The rest will keep me going for a year or so!!
It was a great event, good weather, splendid location and reasonable numbers of visitors - well done Jem and the team from DVA.
There are some more images of the globes on the Upwey Potters website at this link.

Meanwhile the Upwey Potters' annual exhibition continues for another week. My task is to construct a Trevisker Urn - a replica of a large ancient vessel for the Hengistbury Head project.