Welcome to my blog! You can find out about the influences and random thoughts that feed my ceramic work. Comments are most welcome.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Corn hair

I've been growing sweetcorn again this year.  In my eagerness to see if the corn was ready, I opened up an ear. Inside were many strands of golden hair, each strand came from its own kernal.  Apparently, this hair is called 'silk' and the pollen from the tassels (at the top of the husk) falls onto the 'silk' which in turn pollinates it and forms corn kernels.  Fascinating.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

BBC Philharmonic at Mediacity

BBC Philharmonic warming up

Mediacity, Salford
I was lucky enough to get a ticket to watch/listen to the BBC Philharmonic record in their new home at Mediacity yesterday.  I've seen smaller numbers of the Phil perform out 'in the community' in Salford which was great.  Now I had a chance to see all (or nearly all, there were 94!) of them in their purpose built studio.  It was interesting to glimpse into their world.  What a brilliant job they have!  As 2pm drew near, the studio began to fill up with the orchestra.  Members warmed up or chatted to friends - they could have been in any office in England!  At 2pm professionalism and the love of music enshued.  They performed pieces by 3 different composers Ravel, Gershwin and Montsalvatge.  My favourite parts were when the kettledrums bounced into play alongwith the brass section.  Fantastic. (And free!)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Helena Seget

Helena Seget - 'Rebellious Shelves'

Helena Seget - 'Irena (the left handed) chair'
I came across the work of Helena Seget whilst roaming the internet.  I was intrigued by her use of porcelain as furniture.  Interesting, innovative and beautiful.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Smallest Gallery in the World - part 4

Mobiles from Kurashiki, Japan.  Very intricate, simple and effective.  Shown here balancing figures on balls within blue spider net ball and flying figures on an umbrella.  They look fragile but are amazingly quite strong - I still have one that my Japanese penpal sent me over 20 years ago!

Friday, 2 September 2011


Gogoku Shrine, Fukuoka

Handpainted lanterns
The above images show the lantern festival at Gogoku Shrine in Fukuoka.  6,000 lanterns are displayed at the shrine during O-bon.  O-bon is an event that commemorates one's ancestors, the spirits are welcomed back to the family home.  Lanterns are displayed to help the spirits to return.

Traditional salt making factory, Itoshima

Filtering sea water

Traditional salt making process using bamboo to filter the sea water.

Kaiseki - Japanese haute cuisine

Forest vegetables

 Beautifully diplayed Japanese food.  Ceramics play an important part in the presentation of food.


Kiln in shop

Imari porcelain.  A picturesque pottery village in the mountains of Saga prefecture.

We are now home and fully rested after our fantastic adventure in Japan.  Every day was different and our senses bombarded.  It is interesting to see how the Japanese do things and to be immersed in their mono-culture but also to come back home and see our lives afresh.

We would like to thank our friends and their families for making us feel so welcome and for showing us around their home city.  Hopefully it won't be another 10 years before we return again. Domo arigato gozaimashita!