Saturday, October 26, 2013

p b

I've made 40 pots this week. That isn't much at all to proper grown up potters, but it's a HEAP to me, especially as I'm 9 months out of practice (with the exception of the teeny test pots I made at Faye's studio, the last pots I made were for Ebb Tide!). 
I made these 10 cups in 2 hours last night and 10 bowls in the same time tonight - this is a new personal best. (Typing that, I remember listening to a Ben Carter podcast this week that referred to throwing as a sport, quite rightly so.) Before, it was 4 an hour or 8 in two hours. I don't know why I've sped up without practice?! But I appreciate it. Maybe it's my instinct to 'catch up' with this lost time. Maybe because I know I have a Christmas order to fill and I want a good selection of work to sell at my studio warming party next month. Whatever the reason, I love that I have lots of potential to streamline my practice.

But ouch, does my body ache. Must find yoga mat.

shelves!

I have SHELVES! Maree's dad is a master joiner - a clever man indeed. He's done a LOT of work on the studio along with Spud and Warwick and Michael and even MORE people who's names I don't know. 
Leslie, you're a legend. 
As is your girl MAREE, she brought me a mug of homemade pumpkin soup with toast on Thursday night!!

made in man.

Painting has always been my favourite part of the making process. I've been painting pots for ten years, way before I learnt to throw. I have a penchant for ridiculously small details. (I think that comes from years of painting fairy eyelashes.) 
The first collection in the new studio; an extension of Silverdale Dreams. I designed a stoneware collection in December of last year (!) with the intention of making it from March 2013, but I had to leave Australia! I've been thinking about this new work every day since then and as much as I've been impatient to make, this waiting period has been perfect - the designs have evolved, moving much closer to what I really want them to represent.

It surprises me to say this, but I am genuinely proud to be making at home on the island. I couldn't escape this rock fast enough when I first moved to Australia as an 18 year old. Six years later, after an initial resistance to returning home, I am HAPPY to be here and especially thrilled to bring my skills and experience back with me. With this in mind, I ordered a stamp to print the shape of the island on the bottom of my pots. I rather love it.

studio / love.

Have I mentioned that I love the studio?
Spud pops in to see how I'm doing. Maree brought me a rug and an electric heater on Tuesday morning, bless her. I'm extra cosy now.
I feel warm and safe as the rain pelts and the wind blows. Autumn's sweetness has passed now I think. Gale force wind and heavy rain fills the forecast and winter will quickly follow. My instinct is to grumble, but when I think of the new studio, I stop. I can snuggle up in there and fill the winter with pots.
I travel from home to the studio, south to north, up the island. The drive is beautiful, valleys, hills, woods, rivers. I take my breakfast with me.
The yard is peaceful. There are occasional barks and whines from the dogs. Sometimes a whinny from the horse. A cockerel crow from the neighbouring farm. The bandsaw in the wood workshop.
[connected!]

new.

These photos are a week old now and I've done much more than throw in the last week (if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you'll be tired of my clay spam already!), but HERE they are on my blog now.
[happy potter]

[the first pot.]

I've been in the studio every day for the last week, be it for 30 minutes or 5 hours! It's the most darling place. My every thought is 'when can I get there again?'.

Let's go over to Mud Colony! The blog won't be around for much longer, but I want to be a good blogger (for once) and contribute for the last few weeks. Kudos to Adriana for initiating such a brilliant group of potters on the interwebs.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ta dah!

My wheel and kiln were delivered yesterday. Spud (studio landlord) called me after the courier drop and I immediately LEAPT into the car and whizzed up to unpack them. 
For some reason I was surprised to see them both in boxes? How else did I think they would arrive?!
What I thought would be a two hour job was more like four. Partly my own fault; I was so overexcited that I just couldn't focus on reading the instructions! I even forgot to eat lunch and I NEVER miss a meal. 
At first I thought the wheel was broken, but it is actually just SILENT! I mean, yes, it's called a Whisper T, but I didn't really believe that it would be this quiet...
The kiln needs to be wired in yet (single phase electricity), but hopefully that will be done within a week and I can begin test firings!
The unpacking process was so exciting yet nerve wrecking, I was exhausted and I didn't even do any of the heavy lifting!!
I'm itching to get MYSELF in there. Soon, soon...
Big thank yous to Spud, Alan and Leslie for their man help. 
[the wheel! (and fancy stool)]

[I was so tempted to jump inside the kiln box.]


[ "is it level?" ]

[250kg of clay. Yes, really.]

[TA DAH!]

[ooooh so shiny.]

[cuteness.]

Monday, October 07, 2013

twenty.

A little Autumn celebration - here’s a 20% discount code for my online store: AUTUMNLOVE
It’s valid ‘til the end of October.

[scoop]

Sunday, October 06, 2013

conker.

Those trees there are chestnut trees. 
In Autumn, along with leaves, they drop chestnuts, otherwise known as CONKERS!
I loved collecting them as a child and this last week I've been filling my pockets with them on my morning walks!
They're a bit too small to bother roasting, but I love them for nostalgia's sake.



Thursday, October 03, 2013

cuteness.

The studio is looking SO CUTE! Give us a couple of weeks...it's getting there...


band saw.

Since returning to the island I've had the pleasure of meeting some awesome local creatives. One of the first was Graham Hall, super clever woodworker and sculptor legend!
Graham has a huge workspace at Grenaby Artist Studios, in the south of the island.
Gem that he is, he cut up a piece of 8' x 4' sheet of marine ply into discs for me, as new throwing bats! I now have SEVENTY of them! Amazing. Thanks Graham!






Wednesday, October 02, 2013

result.

I'm stoked with my clay and glaze tests. 
I've chosen Millennium White Stoneware from Valentine Clays. But really, the differences between that and Arctic White are tiny.
I'll buy 250kg to begin - that's 20 x 12.5kg bags! The most I've ever bought at once was 3 x 10kg bags! Buying in bulk is a whole new concept to me, but it's the only way to operate in an isolated location.

Millennium:


[alt view of above pot]


Arctic:




And of course there was the Porcelain White Stoneware...it's lovely, BUT it dried super quick and the bottoms cracked. It's also more expensive, but I will buy a couple of bags to play with.
 
[yeah I painted the fuchsia the wrong colours...oops.]