Saturday 30 November 2013

Like real Cool !

The wood fueled firing went very well, a batch of excellent pots emerged.
See the archive about the firing at this link:-
It is always a time of angst waiting to unload a kiln, expecially a large one with many pots.
Laurence Eastwood's pots were probably the best he has ever fired, just in time for the exhibition in Bridport with the Dorset Pottery Group.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Feeling Hot and Cold

A cold night of interupted sleep later, the Wood fueled kiln has been fired and will be ready to unload tomorrow morning. Very pleased with the whole operation, a slightly longer than hoped for push for the last 50 degrees C up to 1250C - got there by 10pm and then a couple of hours soaking - an opportunity to sit and have a thirst quenching beer with friends, while stoking the fireboxes (just as well I have not written that Risk Assessment yet!).

The kiln seems to be behaving well now, after a few modifications. Laurence rebuilt the bottom of the fireboxes, to get the embers to burn better into ash without clogging up the air supply route - that seems to have worked OK.

Monday 25 November 2013

Cold Becoming Warmer!

We finished loading the wood fueled kiln today - ready to fire on Wednesday. Not looking forward to the all night session before, when the kiln is preheated - I have to wake up every hour and put another log or two in the fireboxes. The forecast is cool! However when the firing gets going I'll soon warm up a bit!
Really pleased with the wares we loaded, young Laurence Eastwood's pots are looking better every time we load and I was very happy with most of mine. It will be good to have restocked with some of my favourite lines, such as these mixing bowls, the baby sisters of the "mortaria" which have sold well this year.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Juggling Along

I've got the current batch of jugs ready for firing in the wood kiln, all the handles joined on and the raw glaze applied to the insides. All they have to do now is dry out, which isn't going to happen in this weather. But I'll be firing the old electric kiln with a batch of shiny brown beakers, so the waste heat from that can be used.
These jugs have sturdy shapes and hark back to "pitchers", simple peasant pots that were functional.
They are only glazed on the inside to save wasting expensive materials.

Pine resin was also used to waterproof pottery jugs, when times were hard! Hopefully I can find people willing to pay for the glaze!
I also made a larger jar, which I have turned the surface off of to reveal the heavily grogged texture, which I rather admire. The aim is to get the wood ash to react with the surface and form a pleasing result.

But now for some work getting ready for this weekend's festive offering by the Upwey Potters. I'll probably spend more time making mince pies than selling pots!

Friday 15 November 2013


I set up my new display at Brewers Quay in Weymouth today, it looks pretty good and will hopefully attract some sales.

I have been sticking handles on jugs this afternoon, all good practice for one of the skills I have never enjoyed!

Looking forward to a weekend making pottery drums with Laurence and a bunch of friends.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Continuing PD

We went to an illustrated talk by Peter Randall-Page last night at Hooke Park.
Brilliant! Inspiring! Take a look at the website :-
Glad someone else gets fixated about particular shapes and patterns, it's not just me then!
Spent today throwing jugs and bowls for the next wood firing, having looked at my stock pile, which seems to be lacking jugs. The "mortaria" bowls are my current best sellers.
Off tomorrow to restock the Dorset County Museum shop, which has had a pleasing run of sales of my pots, with hopefully more during the coming festive season.
Also starting at a new retail outlet - I have taken a small display space at the back of Brewers Quay. Hopefully the first thing folk see as they enter the building from the car park (or the last as they leave!). Hopefully a good investment to get involved at this venue, which has been suffering from the involvement of greedy developers, but now seems to be reinventing itself again. I still wish it was a proper brewery, like in my youth!  

Thursday 7 November 2013

A Polished Performance

I have unloaded and sorted the pottery which we submitted to the flames of the village bonfire.
I am very pleased to report that almost all of my vessels came out well. 3 large pots broke, but just about everything else survived and prospered from the effects of the heat.
Polishing and burnishing pottery is a time consuming activity that is not really "worth the effort", except that it is a restful task that can be a relaxing time spent examining the pots while they are being handled and also allowing some time to think of other things!
I have put an archive of the project on my website, hoping to get yet more images from some of the other participants.
Now to spend some more time applying beeswax polish to further enhance the look of the pots, before they are displayed. First at the Upwey Potters' show on 23rd/24th November and then at the Dorset Pottery Groups' show at Bridport Arts Centre in early December.