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


Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I'm having a sale on my ETSY and FOLKSY shops.  Grab a bargain!  More items will be on sale each day.  Watch out for my new work which will be available in September.  Here's a sneak preview ............

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Grass seed


Lovely grass
Why am I growing grass?  Keep watching as all will be revealed!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The first mould of the day

The form I wish to take a mould from

Cottling around the form

Inside view

Resulting mould with cottling removed

Better looking mould

Our Mabel guarding the mould

As the weather has been kind over the last few days, I took the opportunity to make a couple of moulds in the garden.  It's such a messy business, it was great to take advantage and do them outside away from the clay in my studio (clay and plaster do not mix!).  The stages are shown above.  I was a little rusty as I haven't made a mould for a couple of years.  A few teething errors in gauging how much plaster to use then realising the resulting mould was too big (and heavy) but I'll remember next time.  This (hopefully) will be a drop out mould so the cast piece should slip out.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Vase by Fish Pye Pottery, St Ives

'Translating the British, 2012' by Carol Ann Duffy (published in The Guardian 11/08/12)

A summer of rain, then a gap in the clouds
and The Queen jumped from the sky
to the cheering crowds.
              We speak Shakespeare here,
a hundred tongues, one-voiced; the moon bronze or silver,
sun gold, from Cardiff to Edinburgh
               by way of London Town,
on the Giant's Causeway;
we say we want to be who we truly are,
now, we roar it. Welcome to us.
We've had our pockets picked,
               the soft, white hands of bankers,
bold as brass, filching our gold, our silver;
we want it back.
We are Mo Farah lifting the 10,000 metres gold.
We want new running-tracks in his name.
For Jessica Ennis, the same; for the Brownlee brothers,
Rutherford, Ohuruogu, Whitlock, Tweddle,
for every medal earned,
we want school playing-fields returned.
Enough of the soundbite abstract nouns,
austerity, policy, legacy, of tightening metaphorical belts;
we got on our real bikes,
for we are Bradley Wiggins,
               side-burned, Mod, god;
we are Sir Chris Hoy,
Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton, Kenny, Hindes,
Clancy, Burke, Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas, 
               Olympian names.
We want more cycle lanes.
               Or we saddled our steed,
or we paddled our own canoe,
or we rowed in an eight or a four or a two;
our names, Glover and Stanning; Baillie and Stott;
Adlington, Ainslie, Wilson, Murray,
               Valegro (Dujardin's horse).
We saw what we did. We are Nicola Adams and Jade Jones,
bring on the fighting kids.
               We sense new weather.
We are on our marks. We are all in this together.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Slip sliding

Mrs Mabel perusing the clay hoard

Bone dry clay/Slaking clay down in water

Sieving the resulting slip

A tub of sieved slip
Some of my designs lend themselves to being made via slip casting rather than throwing methods. I have gathered quite an amount of porcelain clay (from throwing and turning) that needs to be reclaimed.  At over £20 per bag of clay, I am not going to throw the used clay away. Therefore, I've been trying to make my own casting slip from it. Making the clay into slip is the easy part, the hard part is making it into casting slip. I  have done some tests but still haven't found the right amount of sodium deflocculant to use yet (this helps to keep the clay in suspension and fluid but not be saturated in water).  The photos above show how to make slip from dry clay.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Spot the cat?

Mrs Mabel enjoying the sun - a rare treat!