Saturday, 28 August 2010

Toad Homes

The latest bowls coming off my wheel are all upsidown. Toad houses. I'm making them as part of a range of wood and frost proof ceramic wildlife feeders and habitats. I've not discovered a passion for working with wood but am collaborating with my friend in the workshop next door, Mark.
I liked the first toad houses we did, but after spotting this late night visitor to the workshop on route to put a bung in the kiln (me, not the toad) I decided that he is what was

called for!

What do you think? I hope they go down well as you can see I got carried away and made a few- they're destined for our Folksy shop Check it out, its Marks and mine online shop. Only got a few pieces on there so far, but as soon as these houses are fired they'll be on there as well.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

...more yarning

Back at my workshop I have been making another batch of yarn bowls for Shiela. These ones are a new style for 2010. These are simpler than the last design but I have been trying out a new decoration that I have applied to them. Also I have fell in love with a glaze, recipe courtesy of my good friend and potter 'Martin the pot'. (Check out his blog So thanks for your generosity Mart, I will use it wisely.
Anyway, this is the most gorgeous glaze I have come across in a long time (although the photo does not do it justice, even enlarged, sorry!), and feel it greatly enhances the Yarn bowls, which this time are thrown from a lovely smooth red earthenware. I have recently changed the smooth red that I stocked at the shop for a much smoother version of it. Its sooo beautifully smooth it feels like throwing molten milk chocolate!
Not sure if I like them more than last years, but they certainly are very different (would be interested to hear any comments)
Check them out at Shielas website

Urning a living

This year so far has seen me spending a bit of time each week with Brain doing a bit more restoration work on some pretty old lead. The size of this job has dictated that it be done at Brians workshop, (unlike the apple seller statue that we worked on last year which dangled from a hoist at my workshop for a while) and its been nice to spend some time out and about and in the real world!
This one is Big Urn, he's upside down and about 3ft, the bit we've got here.(the next job on the bench in Little Urn) Big urn has gone the way of much ancient lead statuary, he has collapsed under his own weight, and caved in. My job is to rebuild whats missing or distorted and then make a mould, so that we can make new replacement parts using lost wax. Brain will cut out the old useless bits and add in the new stronger parts, which make the piece a useable functioning piece of lead ornament again for the next 300 years rather than a pile of scrap lead!
While we are at it we may also take a pattern of the rest of the detail so that Brian can make copies in future.
Little urn is less that 12'' tall but has gone the same way as big urn, possibly a bit too far, so we may just be using it to make a copy. Watch this space to see that one in progress.