Friday, 29 August 2008

Handling Big Jugs.

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This was done a few days ago and shows me pulling a handle for a Tall Jug, it also shows that Beagles like to be fed early (Bailey was making very funny noises).

Thursday, 28 August 2008

In the Undergrowth.

We have noticed a new wee friend who we've named Peter as he seems to be a rabbit of no fixed abode. I cleaned out my wheel box today, (first time for a while), Nicola said her tutors at Glasgow Art College told her that if you had an untidy wheel box you had an untidy mind - well my wheel was filthy so what that makes my mind I wouldn't like to say!!! Anyway here are some of my tools that I find useful, my wire isn't in this shot and I don't have my favorite turning tool on show either but everything else I use for throwing and turning is here, I don't buy many tools just make most. Don't have a shot gun for Peter Rabbit darn it! Maybe Poppy the cat will help with him.


I was cutting back branches so that folk can see the signs.
These are before.




These after


A bit better.






In Training or Cut Backs?


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This afternoon I was trying to tidy up and cut the trees back to let people see us from the road but unfortunately the long loppers have broken so I had to improvise a bit, I suppose on the other hand you could see it as training for the weekend when I'll be of at Connect one of the local music festivals down the road about forty miles at Inveraray Castle, (Around here if you go to a big concert held in a field you will usually expect to be wearing Wellington boots and then of cause you have to jump about quite a lot when dancing don't you).

Hugh's mug.

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Hugh throwing one of our wee Coffee mugs.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Throwing and Assembling a Goblet.

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I throw the bowl of my goblets separately video videoThen throw the foot later and assemble them the next day. It is good to learn to tap on centre for this job. Thanks Nx for the great camera work.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Logo's and Stamps.

Among other things I was finishing off the jug handles today, putting thumb stops on and stamping them. When I make big or more individual pots I don't just use the pottery stamp but also my Signature stamp (from my Signet ring.)
Some I give a face as a nod to the green man and the great German salt glazed bottles of old.


This is a slightly smaller tall jug that is in the showroom.


This is a picture that won a competition run by the local School it's a Logo for the Barcaldine Community Association and I was asked as a local artist to make it, "more usable". I'm sorry but I keep thinking of Madonna lying down for some reason.
But after I had sort of censored it a bit, this is what I came up with as Barcaldine is the Gaelic for place between the mountains and the sea I thought of Tolkien and Rivendell with a wee bit of Clarisse Cliff at the front, it's got some work to do but they seemed quite happy with it so far.




A wee trip around the showroom.

At about 4pm on Monday the sun decided to come out, this as usual ment that we were busy until four then not a one visitor so I thought I'd show you round (not very good camera work but here it is anyway).

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Monday, 25 August 2008

Horses for Courses?

I was doing my advertising bit this morning, I set this out for the Oban Times Review which comes out mid September, We haven't done any classes for a couple of years but as we now have Nicola here I think we can have another go without driving me crazy (my last classes before were too much, ten people and just one me!) Fingers crossed we will get a good response from the locals. In the afternoon I was turning lamps and the tall jugs then handled the jugs.


I will stamp them when they are dry enough.

Still to get their thumb stops which I think gives them a nicer shape as well as making them more usable.

The wee gas kiln was cool enough to unpack (It cools down much too fast for the granite glaze to crystallize properly.)
This evening I went down to the Ardfern turn off where there's a large standing stone about 35 miles south of here which would have been a nice run on the bike if I hadn't been sprayed with oil or hydraulic fluid by a passing lorry just before I got there, I was OK just couldn't see a thing out of my visor! Top speed back was about 40 mph, got frozen, not fun but I didn't see a crashed lorry going back so it couldn't have been break fluid.

Hugh's handling it fine.

videoI said I would try to put a video of Hugh up this week and here it is, He is handling the tall mugs we call Handled Beakers which I failed to show you him making the other day.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Is there no peace?

There I was on Sunday afternoon sitting down watching the formula one race in between checking the wee gas kiln and looking at Seth Cardew making a hash of his kiln firing on Ang's blog site, (we can all make mistakes.)

I was making seals too (Who says blokes can't multi task?)
This is what the seals should end up like when fired.

The common or harbor seals as they are called that we get around here a quite cute.
So is Murphy but we were both disturbed by the strange tapping sound from the fire place.
So I moved my old jug from in front of the multi fuel heater.

I haven't got a picture of the small rather dishevelled bird that had fallen down the chimney but I was trying to get it out of the room as quickly as possible rather than get soot all over the best furniture!

I just hope the poor wee thing is alright. He or she seemed to fly off OK anyway.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Trying Times!

I have been trying to put a video blog on here for about an hour now! It was one I did of Hugh throwing a tall mug but the phone video I have actually works the other way round from Nx!??? one so having diligently filmed it what I thought was the right way round I found it was on it's side AAARGH! Then I got an e mail from Hannah telling me of a great bit of soft ware that would sort my problem of sideways videos (from the other day) but it seems to change it on my computer but it goes back the wrong way when put up on the blog????!!!!! So no Hugh today. The weather is a wee bit trying too as one minute its sunny the next it wants to be dull or rain. This is just above Glasdrum up the glen where the old pottery was.
The field next door this morning. Then the forest this afternoon.

And Nicola had a bit of a trying day as she had to sort through her candle sticks to find which she should keep, there were three out of fifteen that bit the dust (or slops bucket). I think she was totally right in her choice and she has a good eye for the shape now. (Still a bit rubbish at kneading rams horn style though.)



Six of the twelve that made it.

I also loaded the wee gas kiln for some honey pots of mine and wee fan vases that Nx made. We usually only use the gas kiln for tests but in the season we have to get the honey pots in somewhere that we make for sale full of wild flower honey from Colonsay a wee island off the coast from here. Fire it tomorrow, a potters work is never done( until that is the pots are fired).
I will try to do another video of Hugh next week. (Do think it's funny though - all these people craning their necks to one side to look at the first videos we did.) I got a comment from Paul about the fact that we potters share ideas and technical advice, I always had Joe Finch my old boss as an example of someone open and helpful with anything he could be but the other thing to think of is what John Glick a potter from the USA said once at a lecture I attended "If 0.1% of the world likes hand made pottery and 0.1% of them like my pots I will never run out of business". So if you can help someone out along the way and it's not going to do you any harm why not help?



Thursday, 21 August 2008

Glazin' inside a bowl RAW!

videoGlazing inside a raw cut handled bowl.

Honpaintin' & Glazin'

videoHand painting the inside of a bowl with the leaf pattern. (O Brother!)

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Lid for Lamp.

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Lamp Lid, PS, Paul no prize for guessing the Cure either but who's this? Need a wee clue? PPS,I'm not one to talk about other folk but have you heard about Hannah being in the Ceramic Review? good one Hannah.

Throwing a Tall Lamp.

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I hope we have it right this time, this one is quite long but they don't usually take any more than 5 minutes to throw. This pot is thrown with about 8 lbs of stone ware clay, the lid is thrown with 1 lb of clay (I have no idea what that is in kgs).

Putting video aside for now.

After the technical pain in the neck of my videos I thought you'd like to see something upright. I finished the medium cut handled bowls by turning on a chuck, upright or upside down I mean! (Not on their side).



These don't look too promising do they but I like them when they are finished.
I have said before about using a lid or pot to stop soft pots being distorted by my hand as I hold the pot down on the pad, these bowls & lids can also be used to measure, handy for cups and saucers etc or just keeping it neat.

I use a wire turning tool for inside a foot ring.


Getting the edge.

I like to show the difference of the turned part of the pot as apposed to the thrown.
The lid is a lot shallower so I throw them small as the bowled base will shrink a lot more than the lid (about 5mm in it quarter of an inch).

Turning the lid. I turn most of my pots quite wet so that handles etc are not a problem.

A 4 oz lump for the handle.


I think I said before we don't cross hatch or slip our handles just a bit of water and shougle (rub, agitate) it about until it sticks.
Then press down a bit too.
Start to throw it.

It becomes almost a foot ring as you can use the lid as another bowl.



The finished lid.

I saw this shape in a book, it's a lidded rice bowl but my other name for it is The Cardew bowl, named in honer of the great Michael himself, he made and used one on his journey back though Africa in 1952 - 53 My shape isn't as nice as his but I like it anyway.


We can fit eight on a shelf in the kiln.


Went to drop off some more leaflets on the bike, looks dark and foreboding but it was quite warm and dry.


View from the Pier House Port Appin.


After we came back from the bike ride we tried (in vain) to sort out the video but you can see that below, no we hadn't had anything to drink! Well not until after trying to get it sorted anyway.