Inspiration and Development Updates.

This week has been a week that I have found a little inspiration, even more so today than any other day my determination is fired and I want to keep going, only thing is I have a Sunday off and then Monday is my little boy's 3rd birthday so I am taking the day off too, whether I will still have this fire then is another matter! I shall just have to doodle what I want to make.

This weeks blog is also a little photo heavy, I do apologise if your internet speed is slow.

These are the slab pieces I showed in an earlier blog entry, as you can see they have been alter, slipped and in parts burnished.  I want to try a little more development with these see if with can make something that is a bit more special.

The taller of these storage jars is 9 inches high, I keep thinking about glaze for these even though they are still very wet and I don't know how long it will be before  they are dry enough to fire it depends on the weather, hopefully it will pick up as it has been very damp and cold again.  The bigger work doesn't like this time of the year, it is a very slow process.  I have thrown these storage jars like this as an alternative to throwing too many vases. as a few people whp have come in have said that they have enough vases but they like the idea of a storage jar.

The lids have feet on them so they sit inside the jar rather than having altered the rim of the pot itself.  I wanted the lids to look a bit like Richard Batterham's but they don't have that same flatness as they meet the rim.

My wife earmarked this page in Phil Roger's Throwing Book ages ago.  These particular jugs were by Svend Bayer.  I didn't like the look of them at first so I had been avoiding marking them.  This week I decided I couldn't put it off any longer so I drew a quick sketch which I put on my wheel's back board got 1.6kilos of clay and went to work.

This is my Svend Bayer inspired jug, I liked it so much that I actually smashed up two green jugs that were actually dry enough to fire but had never really liked them so they have already broken down in the the reclaim buckets.  I had seen a little of Svend Bayer in magazines and had been told to look at them for my own work but didn't like them, not until this week especially today.
I have also been looking at the work of Jim Malone after reading an article about him in Ceramic Review which all lead me to look at the Modern Pots Website which is part of the Goldmark Gallery.  I had a look at going on the traint o see some of the work in person but it is a 4 hour train journey, you can get to London in less if you are willing to pay through the nose, not that the train would be cheap with an estimated cost of £55 on the train or £60 for a friends petrol.

I threw 4 smaller mugs with varying success during yesterday, the tallest one was a demo for my 6 year old cousin and 3year old nephew, as I was pulling the spout for it my nephew jumped on the shimpo's pedal sending it spinning and scared me half to death.

These are the various vase forms I have thrown after they have been trimmed and chattered which I seem to do more and more but I am trying to make very deliberate decisions about these details now.

Someone when I was in my first second year at University said that throwing small was harder than throwing big, and in someways it is to be that fine and delicate and produce something that is a miniature version of what I have been working on.  I made them because I was cold at 3pm and if I throw I get warm quick, or maybe I just forget that I am cold.  I found a couple of bits of scrap clay in a few different bags and decided to throw the pieces I had.

This is the second tallest of the miniature pots next to a full size one that is just under 30cm.

I think I am going to try and work on storage jars, but I need to produce some more domestic ware as I have been avoiding it.  I have to make another 17 small bowls at some point.  I filled a box with all the bisque pieces that I have done and it is now safely at the shop waiting for some bookings.

I want to experience some more good pots, I don't want to have to wait till all the events in the summer.

It is looking more and more like I need a reduction kiln, I hate not being able to do it myself, I feel so helpless.

Well I'm off to paint now.


  1. Looking to others for inspiration is not copying. We are all physically different, so even the same pot will be different.
    But by doing it, we learn.
    Isn't Jim Malone's workshop in your direction?

    Reduction gives not better effects, but different. We must learn to appreciate the good points of each. I am getting some beautiful greens, in oxidation.
    Don't forget that celadon glazes were originally oxidized and just as beautiful

  2. Yeah it is North of Here 104 Mile Journey when I did my tour of lake district potters last year I didn't get that far up north, Penrith was the most northern point.

    I suppose the real point is I need to mix up my own glazes, the ones I made at University always fired to 1280 and won't even fire 20C lower and a long soak. I have glaze books but when ever I tried them I never got good results.

    At the moment I have been using premade ones and I hate them. I want something nice and simple that I can afford to buy the ingredients for.

    I partially miss the speckle of the reduction and the richness it all brought to glaze, at university they didn't have anything that I liked in oxidation or anything in earthernware, hence the reason I'm not a slip decorating potter, though I should force myself to do it to leave my comfort zone.

    I don't like much of my new glazed work hence it doesn't get much of a mention.

  3. The two I have full of recipes are:

    The Potter's Book of Glaze Recipes by Emmanuel Cooper

    The Glaze Book: A Visual Catalogue of Decorative Ceramic Glazes by Stephen Murfitt

    I mainly fire to 1240 due to using a plug in nabertherm kiln

    Just seen this on Amazon

    Glazes: 1240- C (Ceramics Handbooks) by Mike Bailey but don't know if it is any good.

  4. well thats ordered, just have to wait for it to be delivered, better than ordering it from the library which could be weeks.

    Just waiting Les Bainbridge's Catalogue, supposed to be priced quite well.

    Re-reading glazes from natural sources this morning

  5. I really like the roundness to your jugs, I always have problems throwing spherical shapes but you know practice and all that. Really interesting to see your influences as well as what you make.