Thursday, 31 July 2008

Go get Packed.

We are I think ready to pack the kiln now. Lots of finishing including more than a wee bit of hand painting, I made a brush rest for my set some time ago and was asked for one almost straight away so now I make them for the showroom as well.

Hand painting a fish pattern on a bowl.

first we band it.

Then the bodies,

Scratching the definition and putting the dots on the fish's backs.

We paint the cobalt on the clay of the pot before we glaze in the Dolomite white.

But the granite and Tenmoku we paint over the top of the glaze.

Saw Mrs, Toad in the path this evening.

Hope to fire Saturday.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Quick Change.

The Glue Pot's (the pub's) view is still quite clear (ish). But just down the road it's kind of coming in tonight (the rain).
Did you know that there isn't room for two dogs and five of their soft toys in one of the two beds they have in the workshop? (Stupid dogs).

The fish have forgiven me for wrecking their underwater garden now though.

Are We Sitting Comfortably? Then I'll Begin.

Our resident frog (just a small fellow) seems to be comfy sitting in his rearranged home and the pond is starting to get a little clearer. Most rules have to have some lea way and raw glazing has quite a few rules. I picked this wee tip up from a lecture by John Maltby years ago, If you have a pot that is bone dry but you have forgotten to either slip or glaze inside, if you get a nice clean, wet sponge and wipe it all around the outside of the dry pot you can usually get away with glazing / slipping it inside, you have to wipe it again after you've glazed / slipped it and it drys out very quickly so you slip ware folk would have to get your fingers out if you wanted to wet decorate inside. It shouldn't work but 999 times out of 1000 it does! (I haven't forgotten to glaze these pie dishes I just like the thickness that I get with this glaze if I do the insides when they are dry, that's how certain I am of this technique).
I had to show you my new comfy chair! It was made by Nicola's Mum Rosemary Lindsay and it's just great, I didn't think much of Nx seat cover when she first came to work here but I had to sit at her wheel to show her a shape and when I'd sat down on it I just had to have one!!! It is made of a special memory foam (space shuttle technology) and boy does it work, it's more comfy than my motorbike seat!?

I got Hugh one too, so now we are all sitting comfortably!

P,S, No I don't think I'm getting soft in my old age, If you spend the hours we do one these things it's kind of important.

Monday, 28 July 2008

When it's not all Black & White.

It's quite easy to see where the four leaved clover is in this photograph but if you think about where this picture was taken, then it's not so clear. Hugh and Nicola say they have never found one growing but they both walk over this patch of grass at least ten times a week, I suppose I do the same thing with other more important stuff all the time. This is The Black Castle or it's sometimes known as Barcaldine Castle, funny really as it is neither Black nor in Barcaldine (it's in Benderloch just down the road) but then it's not really a Castle either but a Tower House, such is life in the West Highlands.
It's for sale if you are rich enough to afford it?

I decided to sort out the water lilies this morning as they were looking a bit sorry for themselves, and to say it was rather warm today would be understating it just a bit. I got roasted by a combination of the sun and reflection from the water.

Hugh gave me a hand with the extra roots, three wheel barrow loads!

I don't expect any flowers this year but then they were not going to be very good anyway, this is one of seven pots we put back in re potted, ( I was doing potting of some sort so it's not skiving really).

The poor fish won't know what's hit them, I haven't done this for about five or six years but then the lilies needed it they were getting too tall for themselves.

Just a bit cloudy this water, unlike a short while before.

I saw this shadow at lunch time when I took the dogs and thought of Hannah's pictures (unlike her wonderful artistic shadow pictures though this one looks like I've become a toilet sign on a field of lavender! It's just grass though.)

And I was just wearing a silly straw hat to keep off the worst of the sun.

Went up to the start of Glen Coe this evening, a beautiful run on the bike, I went ostensibly to take a picture of "The Chancellor ", a formation of rocks that when viewed from the right angle makes up what looks like the face of a judge with his wig and gown.

That's the way to the hidden glen (Where the McDonald clan allegedly used to hide stolen cattle). Hay! do you think that might be when they started selling all those beef burgers?

This is the mountain where the Chancellor is but I should have taken my proper camera not just the rubbish phone one. (No zoom).

I think you might just be able to make him out in profile looking right from the left side of this photo, what? no you can't Oh dear I guess I will just have to take another trip up there some other time then. (See any excuse, previous blog.)

By the time I got back from my trip by way of the Creagan Inn (Haven't shown you the view from there yet) it was getting towards sun set.

So when I went in to the Pottery showroom the light was pitching in straight at this Tenmoku (or as we call it) Black glazed lamp. Wow! it was anything but black and you could really see why I love this finish quite so much OK the picture doesn't do it justice but you might be able to get my drift?

PS, We did do quite a lot of finishing work, mainly glazing but it's not very interesting to show you so that's all folks (for now.)

Sunday, 27 July 2008


The frog is supposed to be a sign of good luck in Japan and the ones I make for the showroom sell well whether they are attached to a vase, lamp or water feature as in this shot or just on their own. Here I took a picture of the rain that I managed to miss when taking the dogs in the morning a bit lucky there then.
And here we have some evidence of very noisy neighbours, but I am not to complain as they are supposed to bring you good luck!

Brilliant hand builders aren't they, come to think of it that should be beak builders shouldn't it.

I'm not sure if there are 2 or 3 in here but they are the second clutch of Swallows in this nest this year, they get up at about 4am at the moment and the nest is about 5 ft from my bed! (Just the other side of the wall, very lucky aren't I.)

In this photo you can't see that it is hooching with wood ants they are moving too fast for the camera but they reminded me of when I was told on Saturday how lucky I was to have the pottery set up how and where it is, I always think when someone says that of what Richard Branson said when he was interviewed one time, "Yes I suppose I am lucky but I've always found that the harder I work the luckier I become".

Never mind waxing lyrical about philosophy Alan get back to the pots, here's some waxing bases.

Using a dry chuck here Paul.

Took the dogs for a cool dip in the evening and it was really great, there I am lucky see.

Friday, 25 July 2008


No I am not going to stop potting nor have I stopped using the spell check, I just got some new boots for the bike and I'm fascinated by the beautiful patterns they put on motorbike tyres these days. (This one seems to be saying Al, all around it so as it's short for Alan, I think it's meant for me). I still have the funny wee hairy bits on them where the molding has left points of rubber, I did ask Nx if I could borrow her Epilator (for plucking the hairs off your legs) but she'd have none of it. I wonder if Hugh would let me use his clippers? Perhaps not. Oh well I'll just have to go out on my bike again to scrub them off. (The back one looks like it's saying la, la, so either it's singing as we go along or it should have an Ooh! at the start.)

When it's as hot & humid as it was on Friday you have to think of a nice cool place to go for a walk, Sutherland's Grove. Big trees and water falls, I love the textures of the different bark from the trees up there.
Potent isn't it!

When I say waterfalls I had forgotten we haven't had much rain of late, it's a bit dry just now.

Aye I know it doesn't look very high and believe me I'm not frightened of shear drops it's just my brain seems to want to drag me over them so even though Nicola was fine, I was hanging on for grim death.

Back to some flat ground.

More textures, I feel a Jim Robison (from Holmfirth) moment coming on.

If you make Lemon Squeezers you must also do Sugar Shakers to complement them. (For pancakes,what do you mean? you don't know what I mean, Sugar & Lemon is best not Maple syrup, that's for our cousins across the ocean, besides how do you make a maple syrup bottle that would be practical from pottery?)

Beautiful day, just got stormy in the evening.

We have just about finished making for the next firing but there's a lot of waxing, glazing, hand painting and general fiddling about to do before we start packing so you might not hear much from me for a few days, see ya. P,S, We just sold the last really big jug so it looks like I will be on to them soon, watch this space in a few weeks time. (Firing comes first). P,P,S, I started this entry in the wee small hours so some how manged to hit the wrong button when I was reducing the size of my photo's, I have edited it now so the writing sort of nearly makes some sense now but I cannot do anything about the size or quality of these pictures. Many apology's - note to self go to sleep at night and do blogs when you wake up! ( I was also listening to some great stuff from T in the park through the BBC i player so may have been a bit distracted by the Chemical Brothers on my wee screen in the corner of my computer, I love the graphics show they do as well as their music, they are soooo! good).