Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Greats

I found some photos I had taken, back in the hazy days of summer from the Sainsbury centre in Norwich. I had gone with a friend and our daughters to show them some of the collection there then took them out to eat afterwards.
Little did I know they had a temporary ceramics exhibition there aswell. I hadn't seen Lucie Ries work in the flesh so to speak, until that day. Well, those bowls are enough to make anyone go away and make a pot, they are stunning, also Hand Coper vessels on show there too.

Hans Coper vessels, these have to be my favourites.

Those war time buttons by Lucie Rie looked like sweeties.

Lucie Rie bowls

How do you suppose whoever made this pot created that lettering?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Labelling harvest produce with ceramic labels

My "biscuity" labels are fired to a toasty brown, so Ive been busy threading them up ready to tie onto jars, bottles and pressies.
Im going to set them up on Not on the high street as for a limited time scale.
Perfect for labelling all that summer produce!

See the original post here

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Hot Stuff! and patiently waiting

This was a long and hot firing. This kiln firing took from Thursday 2.00pm until Friday 1.00pm to finish its cycle. 
I can't wait to get it out as I have some chunky black tiles that Ive made for my windowsills in there, amongst other things.
Its sneaky peeks until then. These are photos taken during cooling but still too hot to touch its all at about 250c right now.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Filling the kiln can sometimes take a while, its always a good feeling when its cooled down enough to peep inside to take a quick look, its an even better feeling when you empty the kiln and find that all your hard work has paid off, and you don't have any warpage, cracks and crawls on your work.

Filling the kiln over recent times has mainly consisted of commissions and replenishing stock for my shops, all great if the work has fired well. Yet not so exciting as I already know what I'm going to find in there. This is why I always try a little experiment or test a new glaze or make a piece to use in my home somehow.
 This way I get a little surprise everytime the kiln is fired.
My new brush pot

Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to work!

Well thats my summer gone, Im back at school tomorrow for the new Autumn term and Ive already started taking orders again and have been catching up with jobs in my workshop.

Im not one for cooking but I snagged these cute stampers & cutters from my daughter and thought I would make some "biscuity" clay tags with them. Ive used a croggy clay that when fired toasts around the edges, they will look quite edible when they are finished. (In the meantime I had better wash and return the stampers before she notices!)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

On my Holidays See ya!

Away on a little break from home, clay and work for a little camping with the family, (and a first time experience for cute pup "Gus")

Will post some lovely pics of Norfolk when I come back!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

New Project ( Glass melt jewellery)

Ive got some new projects on the go right now, amongst keeping up with orders and school related activities, Ive felt the urge to work really small again.
Ive been making some test pieces of little porcelain discs in the shape of a tiny bowl to melt glass and glaze together. I would like to make an array of colours ( something to match what you wear ) maybe, but Ive only had current success with cobalt and aqua coloured glaze glass.
These are the unfired porcelain discs.

Here they are again after they have been fired with glass, I do like how the glass crackles inside the bowls.

A few extra colours but the results have varied much as some of the glazes haven't suited the glass.

This is the bowl I got the idea from, I wanted to create the same kind of technique only on a miniature scale so I could wear them.

A product shot for Not on the High Street

Ive also thought about some attractive packaging for when I ship them out.

View more glass and ceramic melting projects here.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

student clay work and weaving update.

A few weeks back I posted some clay work with feather imprints onto my blog. You can see the original post here....
Since then I have mounted over 250 window framed paintings/drawings for the GCSE exhibition and displayed them so needless to say its been a very busy time for me. 

For the clay work I didn't want to display on the boards as the student hadn't put holes in her work making it more difficult for me to hang it so I decided to use this old unused beech drawer I found in the art department. I have used a black mount board inside it and gave the outside the drawer a quick sand. The clay work fits in a treat!, so now it is displayed this way and lent against her board with her weaving and batik work. I like how this students work draws attention as its not like anything else in the room, she has done well!
She has also made ceramic buttons and tied them into her weavings.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Potting outside with my pup

It was too nice a day to be in my workshop so I relocated to my outside table area with my boards, tools and clay to roll out some slabs for bowls. 
I got quite a bit done listening to the radio with my "not so little" pup sleeping next to me. 
Only two months ago I could have fitted him into a shoe box, now he wouldn't fit into five shoeboxes.  

Rolling out slabs of clay to impress fern leaves and beech leaves into them.

Poppy stoneware bowls drying after being made.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

G.C.S.E. Art prep works

Next week the students take their Art Exam. This year is exciting for me as in previous years all students have painted and drawn in the exam, clay work was not even considered, however this year is different.
Alongside the drawings and paintings students will be screen printing using batik methods and working with clay during their exam! Ive been involved with all these processes in recent months so I cannot wait to see what they do next week!

Here is some of the supporting work done by one student who is looking at contemporary weaving from Artists such as Ann Richards and Laura Thomas and my work to do her research on, we have used feathers to imprint into clay and made ceramic buttons to thread in with her raffia weavings, its all shaping together well for her, she has decided to make ceramic buttons during the exam and then make the weaving and after they have been fired and glazed she will thread them onto her weaving at a later date.
Here is her supporting material.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fresh from a difficult firing.

Here are some of the ceramics I got from the kiln firing over the weekend. It was a frustrating firing as both kilns decided to play up.
 I initially decided to do a smaller firing in the little kiln so that I could get a couple of big orders approaching the dispatching date out to people. 
Since offering wedding favours at a 4 week turnaround I've had to step up with the firings and organising my clay making time, not a natural state for me, yet I hate to let people down.
The small kiln decided to fire itself up to 300c within an hour, leaving the majority of clay work in pieces, (devastating!!) After leaving it to cool down I cleared up and retrieved some of the work in the same condition and loaded it into my big kiln. (I was too annoyed for picture taking although in hindsight I wish I had)
Then the big kiln let me down as it reached 1000c (I needed it up to 1250c) fortunately it was the switch tripping out because one of the cables had corroded. Fortunately my man with his practical skills sorted it out for me so the kiln resumed its firing.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Student Clay work

The Art rooms have been very busy with new clay work from the yr 10 and yr 11 students.
The work in the photos below are yr 10 clay tiles, ideas are in abstract forms from their own personal projects.
Pieces have been bisque fired then fired again with stoneware glazes and glass shards from recycled wine bottles inserted into the recesses.
Amazingly only 3 glaze colours were used on these, the varied colours are due to different coloured glass onto of these 3 glazes.

I will be firing more this week so I will post more photos soon.
View more ceramic and glass melt projects here.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Fired on images The results.

My last blog post was an experimental firing about using ceramic images to fire onto my work. I promised an update and here it is:
Here are some of the pieces, prior to firing, still damp after the transfers have been applied. 

Loaded into the little kiln once the transfers had fully dried.
Lid shut, here goes a 4 hr firing to just 800'c

These are the pieces (much like when they went into the kiln, except the images are now part of the piece (fired into the clay/glaze instead of sitting on top)

Feathers featured on these glazed planters.

Here are some of the failures, not certain why these transfers didn't take but I have a feeling they work better on a smoother glazed surface, on the bisque or matt surfaces they seemed to flake away.

However on the whole each transfer fired on well and is definitely a permanent solution to transferring images onto my work.


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