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Showing posts from 2015

A Raku demonstration at Little Myles, Stondon Massey

Belatedly. I thought I'd post some pictures of the Raku event we held at Little Myles Farm Pottery in Stondon Massey, Essex in September.  This was organised by artist and owner of the Pottery Judy Cowan and resident potter/technician extraordinaire  Tina Capener. 

The Pottery  is in a wonderful country location, with landscaped grounds, and the studio facilities are excellent. Much fun was had on the day- although results it was fair to say were mixed! We ended stacking up a lot of work in the kiln-on about 4 kiln shelves- not recommended-  at one point a kiln shelf collapsed- although miraculously nothing was broken.

We used some local oak wood shavings for some of the reduction, alas I think it was a bit damp so this affected the resulting reduction lustre. However plenty of decent white crackle was achieved- and the copper glaze achieved a sort of lava-gunmetal finish. Not what we were expecting (and there was some disapointment)- but as I kept saying "this is Raku!"…

Making new pots part 2

The hard graft of making sculpture is now it's time to do some throwing. Tune in... turn off and are some results.

Wheel thrown bowls

Making new pots part 1

Well I have just about finished making my latest batch of slab constructed work. I started in about August-it's now November! You just can't make them quick enough. I've got to start a bit of throwing now, and get the firings on the go- I hope before Christmas... I've already got a few customer enquiries for some pots so I suppose that's a good sign.

I hope if the pots fire succcesfully to hold some decent stock back with a view to generating a collection I can take to Craft shows in the coming year.

Last of my slab constructed "Menhir " sculptural vessels.  Scarva earthstone clay 

Setting up a short course on hand building with clay

Anyone in the Braintree, Essex area- fancy a New Year challenge? I'm setting up a new hand-building course focusing on all the basics...soft and hard slab work, coiling, pinch potting, clay modelling, simple figurative sculpture- basics of decoration....

Pass it on....

Keeping on Pottering on....

It's been a quiet time of simply getting on with stuff back in the studio. Not much doing exhibition wise- all my work has gone off to shops leaving me with precious little stock.  I'm in a spell of hand building and probably then focusing on throwing some bowls and so on. I still exist and I have the photo to prove it!

In between I've been doing 1 or 2 Pottery workshops which have been fun and a bit hair raising! More on this  to come.

Me and my pots.....

Pots off to Wales...

I finally got round to packaging up some work for the Erwood Station Galleryin Powys, Wales. This is the sister gallery of the Lion Street Gallery in Hay on Wye.

In between I have had yet more kiln woes- so production ground to a halt during August. Everything is now fixed and I'm back up and running.

The pots will be in Wales fingers crossed by the weekend. Here's a few of the "newbies."

New work at the Taplin Gallery

I paid a visit to the Taplin Gallery at Woodbridge today to drop off some new work, including some conical style bowls, tea-bowls (Chawan) and a couple of sculptural pieces. If you know Woodbridge it's a picturesque Suffolk town with a beautiful old high street and is situated on the River Deben.

I've been exhibiting work there periodically since about 1998. It's always a pleasure to visit and today was a chance to have a chat with it's new owner and I must say the gallery is looking  great. Worth a visit if you're up in that part of the world.

You can "facebook" the gallery manager- Maz- for more information at,

Some of the new work for sale at the Taplin Gallery

Aurora- retail £145

 Raku Chawan (small) £25

The beauty of cracked pots...

I just thought I'd share this particular pot. It's a "Sentinel"- a type of sculpture very loosely based on standing stones and archaic tools and flints- with my own slant.

It cracked in the firing, so it lay around a while until my nephew came round and decided to clean it up. I rather like it despite the flaws and the curving crack on the rear face. Shall I  infill with gold leaf or maybe just leave it? Anyway I quite like like it as it is.

 "Sentinel" sculptural raku form

Jug commission and "time lapse" making video

I am enjoying spending more time in the studio over the summer and have finally got around to one or two long standing projects! You might recall a while back I made a Jug for Chelmsford Museum, in Essex, which is now in their collection of Studio Pottery.

The museum collection curator, Dr Mark Curteis  commissioned me to make a second jug for his own personal collection of ceramics. I have only just got round to it! Anyhow it is nice to be back in the workshop and busy making stuff once again. Bliss.

One of a series of freshly made green-ware Jugs  drying out in the workshop read for bisque firing. 

You may also like to see a time lapse video of the construction process in making one of these jugs over on my Youtube channel

Web site is back up live....

My website is back up live! It needs a bit of tweaking to bring it up to date, but thanks to my good friend and chief designer -Bergy it is live. He did a great job for me.

Have a look and hopefully it will get updated as we go. That's my aim anyhow in between making pots....and teaching....if I get a chance!

New book arrives all the way from Oman.

A big thanks to Dr Badar Al Malmari of Sultan Quboos University. I picked up my package posted all the way from Oman, and lo and behold is my copy of "Ceramics and Glaze"- just about the only book on the subject written fully in Arabic!

Ok, my Arabic is not that good- but I am featured in the Raku section- next to David Roberts. Pretty good eh?! Anyway if this carries on- I am going to need to put up another another bookshelf. Fifth book now- now I just need to sell some bloody pots....

Kiln building fun

You may remember my last disastrous attempt at building a Raku box type kiln. Suffice to say it didn't work- and the temperature stacked at 800 degrees c. This time I've recycled the fibre and mesh and reverted to the tried and trusted barrel type kiln- and dug out my old raku kiln given to me by a fellow potter. Essentially I've made a top hat to fit on the kiln base- and I am firing tommorow to check it reaches temperature.. It better bloody had I am doing a Raku firing demo on Saturday as part of the Braintree Arts Festival in Essex. I'll be stuffed if it doesn't work!

New fired work

I photo'd up some work recently and some of the results can be seen below. These are the last of a batch of pots I've making since around Christmas- yes it does take me that long to get work together these days! One of the pots is already sold to a customer at  Pell Stevens Architects literally the day after it first appeared on Facebook.

New pots at Buckenham Galleries Southwold

It was time to visit Southwold again this weekend and a visit to  Buckenham Galleries, to resupply them with pots. This is a  lovely gallery showing Fine Arts, sculpture and painting- as well as ceramics, including pots by Robin Welch. I have  been dealing with them  since  2006/7 and it's always been a successful place to show and sell work.

It was nice to meet new people at the gallery, although much missed is Becky Munting, the former gallery manager- now focusing on her painting career. Her work can be seen here:

Below: Some of the work now on show at Buckenham Galleries, Southwold, Suffolk

Book No 2....published in Oman

A very nice surprise indeed at the weekend. I was contacted by Dr Badar Al Malmari from Oman to confirm that he'd just published his book- "Ceramic Glaze". I'm in the section on Raku. (There's my "Nuclear Jug" in copper matte at the bottom of the page.)

 I believe this to be the first book on the subject to be published in the Middle East. I'll let you know when I receive my copy although I doubt I will be able to translate it!

Book arrives by post...

I finally got my hands on the "State of Art" book which arrived this morning. It's primarily a "fine art" book,  focusing on sculptors and those working in 3d/craft. I would say that my entry sits somewhat incongruously in there- but there a couple of other makers  featured who also work with clay. Anyhow I am really pleased to have received my copy. This is the 4th book I have been featured in since 2009, and I have 3 pages devoted to my work which is really good.