Ahhh, India… I’ve wanted to come to this country for 20 years, and 2014 finally brought home the goods – a month in Rajasthan. Such a joyous riot of colour and pattern and vibrant living, a mass of inspiration. Here are just a very few of my favourite images from a yet-to-be-sifted haul of photos. Continue reading
Had the pleasure of going home to Fife for a week last month and took up a load of wares and commissions to show and sell to friends and family. Aside from the excitement of our triple birthday (me, my dad and my brother-in-law share the same date and traditionally blow out our candles together, something I wouldn’t miss for the world), it was great to share what I’ve been doing over the past 6 months with everyone.
Just a quick post to share some images of a couple of pieces of commission work I have recently finished… a great pleasure to make and so nice to have the opportunity to really stretch out the creative juices.
Number one is a bespoke set of nasturtium illustrated earthenware – 2 large mugs and a serving bowl…
It is, dare I say it, only about 6 weeks until Christmas…. An immensely busy time for makers all over, and it wouldn’t be worth it without getting out into the world to sell our products. Continue reading
I’m really getting a positive response from people on my handbuilt porcelain ware. I use ‘slab-building’ for this (although you could hardly call the sheets of porcelain that I roll out as ‘slabs!’) and press moulding for the bowls. The techniques, with really thin fine porcelain produce slightly warped pieces – all uniquely shaped but with a strong design which ties them together. The imprinted design, using a vintage lace doily which is first bisque-fired, is hand painted using a variety of oxides and underglazes before firing again with a transparent glaze to create a really vibrant colourful piece… The range is expanding; it’s gone from jugs through teapot stands all the way to limited edition jewel caskets!
Well, I never thought I’d do this, but I’m adding another new string to the bow – to get around the problem of creating greater intricacy on my illustrated pieces I have started to produce hand-applied transfer ware in my studio. It’s a revelation to have perfect reproductions (or at least when the firings work…!) of my drawings and paintings on porcelain. It works on both stock porcelain and handthrown ware, I have found. So, it can have a more handcrafted feel incorporating hand painting and throwing or a more conventional feel which has its own appeal.
Wow, no sooner had I written up the post yesterday about my tea towel experiment being underway, than the very things arrived at my studio…. in an enormous box. Yikes – I did wonder if I might use them to manufacture endless bedlinen/construct a home/sail across the seven seas as there seemed to be so many of them. But I’m warming to them.
Enjoyed packaging the first few up for sale at The Little Shop in Bristol’s vibrant Stokes Croft arty quarter this morning… and, even better, getting one home to try out 🙂
Well, much as I am enamoured of the ceramics world… I’ve taken a step into the unknown and started a collection of illustrated tea towels, carrying my original designs, in time for the Christmas market season.
Very excited about this – my stock is due to arrive from Bryan Franks next week and then I will be getting busy packaging them in the pretty wrappers I’ve been designing ready for the first market of the winter – Stroud Farmers’ market on the 1st November. Going to have to find some suitably placed aga and do a photo shoot of my new products when they get in… hoping they live up to my expectations!
Genesis of a set of flamingo bowls – a really lovely commission and a fun illustration challenge…
Slides show the journey from initial sketching to slip and sgraffito illustration, freehand onto the earthenware bowls I threw; then the bisque ware and the final glazed result.
The genesis of a new design… challenged by a friend for a private commision, I was asked to place a favourite painting – my bright peacock – on a serving platter as a special 40th birthday present. Tricksy… I’ve never made transfer ware before but the result is eye-catching, especially when teamed with hand painted and sgraffitoed edgings. Think I’ll be making more of these little numbers!Finished articles.
Transfer placement on the twice fired earthen ware platter.
The original peacock painting.