Ceramic Art London- 2014 (April)

was a brilliant selling show of over 75 potters from all over the country and some from abroad. www.ceramics.org.uk -well worth putting in your diary for next year, 17th to 19th April 2015.

The day before I had read an article that a potter called Akiko Hirai had written which appeared in the magazine, Ceramic Review.  www.ceramicreview.com  She talked about Korean Moon Jars that she had seen some years before in the British Museum, so whilst in London I just had to see them too. Amazingly simple but beautiful and well worth a special trip to see them. Whilst there popped into the Contemporary Ceramics Centre opposite to see what is currently being sold. www.cpaceramics.com

As if my feet didn’t ache enough, we then went to the ceramics gallery in the Victoria and Albert Museum where Lucie Rie’s wheel and personal tools and things always touch me in some way.

All potted out!!! see www.akikoceramics.com too!

 

Spring 2014!

How time flies….

I have been busy setting up my kilns and continuing my quest of making tea-bowls. The sun has helped the drying process of course and has resulted in a bit of a making frenzy. I continue to try to achieve some consistency in carbon-trapping in the firings, but find the results variable. Not that the results are bad, just not predictable. Perhaps this is part of the excitement and keeps the whole thing fresh for me.

I have moved!

due to personal circumstances, it was necessary to move back to the South East at the end of last year…..it has been strange but also nice to return to an area we know so well. We are now near to the beach and can walk the dogs there everyday which has been a joy. A happy mind makes happy pots.

I have arranged a smaller studio for now to get me going and I am pleased with the space (it doesn’t take much heating!). I have made Yunomis and all I need to do now is get them dry enough to fire. Well actually I also need to set up my kiln- small point. I hope to pick up where I left off and continue to be inspired by my Japanese influences from last summer.

 

Camping- OMG!!!

Yes, I have been in a tent for 3 nights which is I know, unbelievable….it was necessary, as I was on a wood-firing weekend in Devon, in the middle of nowhere.

Kigbeare Studios, near Okehampton held an event with 3 Japanese Master Potters- a weekend of demonstrations and firing the kiln. Met some great people, ate great food with superb hospitality thrown in. The results of the firing (some 25 hours long) were incredibly pleasing with a few absolute gems. We all had pots included. See the gallery page for photographs.

The Master Potters were Peter Seabridge, Masahiro Kumagae and Reiko Nagata (pictured here holding my tea-bowls). Each of them showed their completely individual style and skills and it was an honour to see them work and to fire the kiln with them.

Soda Ash

It is true- Soda Ash changes the resulting glaze and finish if it stands in suspension (in water) for any length of time.  This is a pleasing revelation to me as it answers my recent glazing confusion. I now mix glazes (if they contain Soda Ash) as they are needed.

Out of the 15 new Shinos, I actually like 2. They are interesting as they contain local clays (including Bridget’s Loughborough clay) which contribute to the results. This is something which excites me! Photos to follow…

The sun has decided to shine and the trees are finally coming to life. The apple blossom has also burst…wonderful

Apologies for the’ radio silence’ !!!

I have been busy with family things and also found it difficult to get motivated during the cold winter months.

For the last few months, I have however been making and firing kilns to get to the bottom of why I haven’t had consistent results. I have therefore experimented with the clay body, glazes and all the multiple combinations which result from those.  All this takes time and concentration. So I have been busy really!

My latest firing includes some 15 new Shino glazes which will be fired in a reduction atmosphere.

I have also included a fresh batch of a favourite glaze of mine which seemed to change in outcome recently. I have done this because according to an article I have just read that the make up of the glaze can be altered by Soda Ash sitting in water. The properties in Soda Ash which help with carbon trapping changes – this  affects the resulting finish on the pot. Whilst I have never come across this before it will answer my dilemma. Fingers crossed.

Visit from the North

Yes…..Bridget’s been in town  for a few days and got me throwing again. I have been distracted with decorating and needed the appropriate kick in the right direction. So, log-fire lit in the studio and we were off! In an effort to move away from my current obsession with tea-bowls I made some big plates and bowls and really enjoyed it. It was of course good to catch up and ‘blether’ into the night as someone would say!

Spent early evenings checking out ‘You-Tube’ searching for momentum wheels and came across a pure genius…just amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4YSwPmB6Lk

 

The Goldmark Gallery

is in Uppingham, Rutland (somewhere north of here) and is an amazing gallery- well worth visiting. They stock drawings, paintings, prints and ceramics of over 650 artists. These are avaialble on-line too (see www.goldmarkart.com ).

I loved it as it has a ceramics gallery upstairs and a seperate print and painting gallery downstairs. I have been twice and there was a super Svend Bayer exhibition  then one of Anne Mette Hjortshoj, a Danish potter. The space is light and open and allows for superbly curated shows of potters work. Each show is accompanied by a fantastic catologue and DVD. Some of these clips are on You-Tube and are well worth looking out.

Also go to www.modernpots.com

 

Loughborough

is where my mate Bridget lives and works. Our styles are quite different, but when we work together I think we inspire each other. I would go as far as to say that I make my best pots when we are catching up and having a laugh together. I am sure it is about working when I am happy and is something to do with being relaxed and not pre-occupied with pressures and thoughts about everyday life.

see www.bridgetmcvey.co.uk