Saturday, August 31, 2013

cake.

2 awesome things on a Friday:
[my business bank account welcome pack!]

[chocolate guiness cupcakes from Ruth! Life changing.]

blue sky days.

I've been working 3 jobs this summer. It's been fun and the new studio is the best carrot in the world for me, but I know I'm wearing thin as the autumn comes. 
I trek up a hill from the cafe at Cregneash to retrieve my car and on a fine day, I'm rewarded with this view:
[looking down towards Port St Mary]
Wednesday was an especially good day.
[the road home]

roof.

One of my many 'day jobs' on the island is at a gorgeous fair trade shop in the most northern town - Shakti Man in Ramsey. I'm helping to set up a website and online store - the project is snowballing on every level, but it's the best team to be working with. I live in the south of the island; on my way home from Shakti last night, I popped in to see the studio progress (useful fact: one of my Shakti colleagues, Maree, is co-owner of PineWood Studio) and found Spud perched at the top of a ladder, replacing some roof slates! 
There is also GLASS in the window and door - double glazed too! The studio is south facing, so hopefully I will get a good amount of natural light every day - assuming of course that it isn't too cloudy...which happens a lot on this wee island...hmm.
[Spud!]
Let's go to Mud Colony!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

spoon love.

I've been making scoopy-like spoon thingies. I like them A LOT. There will be MORE!

silverdale mist.

This place is so dreamy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

throw > paint.

Holding my own pots after a 7 month hiatus = best feeling EVER. 
There was much happy dancing. 
I've been sketching and designing for months - it's BRILLIANT to finally make those drawings a reality! I've had an extension of the Silverdale Dreams collection planned since December last year, and since my return I've been considering the local language - Manx gaellic. This is the starting point for the first work to be made in my new studio.
[moghrey mie // good morning]

[notions of home]

[gura mie eu // thank you]

[it was getting pretty messy on Thursday night.]

farm throwing.

Early last Tuesday I snuck into Faye's studio to trim the previous week's pots and throw my last clay sample. Her studio is nestled inside a huge barn on her parent's farm. As I drove up the lane I was dodging baby chicks, then greeted by cockerels crows and horses stomping in their stable. It's a whole new experience to throw with so much noise around me - I became so used to filling silence with music on the Gold Coast!
My last sample was PF 700 (Porcelain White S/ware) from Valentine Clays was easy to throw with, however it dried very quickly and warped considerably. I could easily take it into consideration and work with that, but I'd be happier to use a reliable stoneware in the short term.

[Faye's barn!]

time.

There's a common saying on this island, that epitomises the pace of life. It's both endearing and frustrating (especially when you've become accustomed to city life elsewhere).
'Traa dy Liooar' (Manx gaelic) translates as 'Time enough'.

This reflects most islanders' mind sets - that there is plenty of time and all will be well. I respect that and I'm trying my best to embrace it. However, the proverb can also be used to excuse laziness or lack of progress.
Sigh.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

t h r o w.

I've been anxious about wheel throwing. I finished throwing for Ebb Tide back in January, received notice to leave Australia in February and flew out in March. 7 months have passed now. Finally, yesterday morning, I visited Faye Christian's studio and made some pots.

I felt sick with nerves as I drove to her studio. But I did it - I can still throw.
Valentine Clays in Stoke-on-Trent have kindly sent me some free samples of white stoneware to test - I was happy with Walker's PB103 in Australia and I want too find a British equivalent.
I immediately disqualified the first clay as it has a fine grit - I can't abide throwing with a rough clay of any kind! The second and third clays were wonderful, both have potential and I am yet to test the fourth, a porcelain stoneware, however after checking the prices I am fairly sure that I will have to choose the second or third blend, as they are far better suited to my budget as a young potter.

Adriana shared a cute list this week via Pip Lincolne - let's give it a go.
Taking stock:

Making: POTS for the first time in 7 months. *clicks heels*
Cooking: beetroot for salads!
Drinking: buckets of cider (hello summer!)
Reading: About a Boy
Wanting: a sneaky off-island trip
Looking: for cool culture on this island
Playing: Radio 6 Music
Wasting: too much time missing Australia
Sewing: not a thing!
Wishing: for the summer to last forever
Enjoying: rediscovering my beautiful island
Waiting: for my new studio to be ready
Liking: working totally 3 different jobs across the island
Wondering: how long pots will take to dry in this climate
Loving: Dalahästs!
Hoping: that my studio won't be too cold in winter
Marvelling: at how many brilliant friends I have here at home
Needing: to invest in warm winter clothes!
Smelling: roast sweet potato
Wearing: a wicked new necklace from Melbourne
Following: the OSCAS weekend in Australia - wish I was there!
Noticing: the sun setting earlier
Knowing: that I'm burning the candle at both ends
Thinking: it will be great to make more pots again SOON!
Feeling: excited to buy a brand new shiny wheel and my very first kiln
Bookmarking: clay events happening in the UK soon
Opening: too many bars of chocolate
Giggling: with Adriana like I never left Oz.

Mud Colony! x

Sunday, August 11, 2013

stop.

And listen. This stopped me in my tracks this evening.
Thank you Radio 1.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

summer island.

More from the land of ellan vannin. 
[peel castle - epic huh?]

[lunchtime heart doodles]

[a gorgeous thank you note from a visitor]

[lying in bed this morning, contemplating.]

[Bradda head this evening, with a tall ship in the bay and the mountains of mourne in the distant.]
This post has NOTHING to do with clay, but let's go over to Mud Colony, shall we? It's about time for a visit.