I've been going into the local school after school on a Tuesday to do a pottery 'after school club' for them. The school is for children with special needs. This week I've just started getting some of their work through the kiln so here is the first batch. They enjoyed making these figures so I hope that they will be pleased with the glazed work. The little chap above is a plumber and that's a pipe he's holding. Farnham went really well. I took this photo when I unpacked some of the boxes but before I tweaked the arrangement. I had fully intended to take lots of photos this time so that I could think about improving my display for the next show but I totally forgot. All I have is this blurred picture.
This week has flown by. I glazed on Monday and repacked the kiln. I remember throwing on Wednesday. Last night I got the first coat of paint on these shelves and then another this morning. They may not actually look very big but unfortunately I can't lift them which means I am hoping some kind fellow potter will give me a hand tomorrow. The bowls below are the insect bowls from last week. They are very small. I like the odd little beasties but it will be interesting to see if other people do! I could not get outside to photograph them as it has rained all day. This little slab built pot is an 'idea'. It's only approximately 4 inches by 3. There are 'ideas' in odd corners all around my studio. I've had a piece of glass cut to fit the hole and the idea is that you can glimpse the contents of the box. I might try re-working the idea with a thrown box when I've got time. I think I might get a much better finish and the man at the glaziers tells me that they can cut round.
I just managed to dash into the garden as the light was going this afternoon to take these pictures. I would have liked to take some more but the light went very quickly. These are pots I've made to take to Farnham. When I decorated the insect bowls I timed the process and was amazed to find they took me well in excess of four hours each! That is after they were thrown, slipped, banded and turned. After Farnham will be a good time to sit back and take stock of what I do before I start a new batch of work so maybe I won't be making too many of these. I have shown both sides of the two casseroles below. The blue tits are the ones I saw in my garden when they were clinging to the seed heads of the crocosmia. I am quite pleased with these and I don't think I can I can make the drawing lines any finer. The clay has burnt through just enough to give some warmth so that they aren't too clinical. On a more mundane note I had to go to Ikea yesterday to get some spot lights for Farnham. It's cheaper to buy new ones every year than to have the old ones PAT tested. You can look up who else will be at Farnham at Art in Clay here.
Factoid - every insect has six legs. I should know I've been drawing them all week! My handyman made me some new shelves and thoughtfully put in a narrow shelf for small pots. ( I didn't like to tell him I didn't have any small pots). I do now or hopefully will before Art in Clay Farnham next week-end. These bowls are tiny about 3 inches across. Last week-end we went to the Horniman Museum in South London. These bronzes were beautiful. They are from Benin. But I had forgotten what a spooky place it is. They have a gallery full of stuffed birds and small animals ( the dead zoo some young pupils I taught called it). I was hoping to draw some owls but that gallery was closed for ' essential maintenance'.
Another reliquary out of the kiln this morning. I'm calling this one 'the birds and the bees'. The tiles below are some tests I've done to work through some ideas. I'm not quite sure where I am going with them yet. At the moment I am reading this book by Edmund de Waal and I am enthralled with it. It's a good read but also gives insight into the work of Edmund de Waal. I think it is amazing how things we have grown up knowing about infiltrate our work in all sorts of subtle ways. I don't think I can do the book justice if I try to review it so read Claudia Clare's review on her blog . Whilst I am talking about books here are some of the books I glean images from for my work. I often call in the Oxfam book shop and have bought quite a few there. If I use books in the pottery then I don't want to be too precious with them so buying them second hand feels good. ConnieN left me an interesting link to a whole catalogue of useful photographs of wild life.