Saturday, 12 January 2013

27. Something Old, Something New.

Hello Potters and Friends. And A Happy New Year!!

I thought that this post could take a look back over the past year, make a note of what was most popular with customers, and see what gave me most satisfaction in the making.

Small is beautiful, and my very popular pots on wooden blocks are always a joy to make.

And you never have to worry about getting all of them the same size. In fact it's better that you don't.

A Japanese look for my tea-light holders.

Then back in May I started making Grab Jugs. This design was very popular in the 1930s and these small jugs were used mainly for cream. Grabbed by the neck they fit very comfortably in your hand and look very dainty on the tea table. About 8 or 9 cm high (just over 3 inches) is a good size.

For anyone who gets frustrated and a little nervous about attaching handles, then this is the jug for you.  

But while on the subject – when attaching a handle, never make it curve out more than half the diameter of the rim. i.e. it can still be chunky if you wish, but don't let it stick right out like a massive question mark. That unbalances the whole piece.  

You may remember that the summer of 2012 saw me struggling with porcelain. But the purest of whitest of clays kept me persevering in order to produce simple, clean-lined forms.


 A lot of what I produced was miniature – tiny versions of larger stoneware pots. Someone had said to me that buying a large vase was easy, but trying to find something for small flowers was impossible.
I myself have picked little yellow primroses and ended up putting them in an old glass or a Marmite jar.
Very nice, but something in porcelain would please the eye so much more.

My tip would be to wedge it and knead it well and don't use too much water if throwing with it. And above all keep it clean. I kneaded some on a board that I thought I'd cleaned after rolling out a flecked stoneware. Disaster!

Towards the end of the year I experimented with Mayco brush-on glazes. I'm pleased with what I've got so far.

This is called Smoke. (2 coats)

Wrought Iron (3 Coats) with my own satin glaze inside.

And finally can I recommend this terrific book written by Tony Birks.

He tells the story of Lucie Rie's life which, unusually for a biography, reads like a novel. Then a large section towards the back has some great photographs of her work. If you're a fan of Lucie Rie, as I certainly am, then you'll find this book a little treasure.