This small 'lake' is about five minutes walk from our house. It's where an old sand pit has been flooded when the excavating was finished. There are several of these close to our home, some quite big and they are now managed as nature reserves. As you can see I am still looking for skeletal plant structures to draw.
Yesterday I had to make a trip into Kent to pick up clay. You know the sort that comes in plastic bags! The two pots above are made from the clay straight out of the clay pit in Kent but I am still having issues with the glaze splintering on this body. I would really like to use this clay more rather than the commercial clay. The top jug is glazed with my sesquecilicate glaze and this is the one that is causing me problems. The photo doesn't really show the difference very clearly but the bottom jug is glazed with a commercial glaze. It fits the body well but it looks very cold whereas the other glaze looks very warm and really lets the clay body 'glow'. The other problem with the commercial glaze is that even if I compromised and decided to use it they no longer make it. Although I don't do much work in this clay I still am testing for viable solutions so that I could at least do a series of work using it. I've not given up yet and still have some ideas to test.
Last Saturday we headed up to London to look for Barn the Spoon. He makes wonderful hand carved wooden spoons which are a real pleasure to use. After being in the studio working on my own all week I am often glad to get out at the week-end.
We walked down Brick Lane to Barn's shop but came back along Columbia Road which is full of interesting little shops. It's also cheered up with these mosaics on the wall of a local school. I thought they added a colourful high light to the road. We then went on to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
I'm on the look out for small decorative motifs that may inspire my own work. Some were on pottery but the panel with trees and hunters was on a cabinet in the new furniture gallery. By which time I was so exhausted we had to head home!
This week I've been working on these 'fish ' bowls all week. They are definitely the slowest pattern I use even though I try to draw them quite quickly and freely.
This morning I was out looking for the remains of cow parsley to do some drawing for my next batch of pots. They have very strong linear qualities that translate onto the pots well. Before heading home I called into a local 'vintage' shop where I found this slipware cider jar. Fortunately it survived the journey home intact - unlike the cow parsley. Does anyone recognise the potter's mark? I wonder if it's French.
For many of the designs I do on my pots I make templates. I place these templates on the leather hard pots to draw an outline- this insures that I can get them in the right place as mistakes can't be rectified. I now have hundreds of these cut out drawings all over the place. So i was wondering if I could use them for any other purpose. I decided to try using them for some embroidery. Well if I thought pottery was a slow process I hadn't tried embroidery. If I ever finish this piece I don't think I will be repeating the process.
Here are some plates I got out of the kiln on Monday. Again using the template method. I'm calling these the alphabet plates. There are a few more to go through the kiln but again I'm not sure about these. I'd seen some old children's plates in an antique shop that gave me the idea.