New work arrayed…

My new porcelain hand thrown wares are building for the market season, as well as winging their way soon into the Platform Gallery in Lancashire for their Northern Star winter exhibition and Found Gallery in Dunbar in time for their winter show.

The Peapod and Dandelion versions of these thrown ceramics have cemented into the two designs I’m happiest with so it’s just going to be a case of trying to get faster at throwing them… Since getting back from sabbatical in January there has been a lot of work in the pipeline and it’s satisfying to see it finally in the outcome stage.

New Products: Nasturtium Soap Dishes

As the Crow Flies studio has been busy of late after some frustrating time off with a slipped disc…image-1 Continue reading

botanicals: freesia

Started off the botanical series with a commissioned freesia design bowl… I really like the sharpness of the design and the colours stand out well. Think this will become a staple of the repertoire. I like working to other people’s design briefs – it makes you sit and think and actually go through the design process in a more focused way. Must be my institutionalised design studio head…

Some preliminary drawing work – you can see the freesia outline design hiding behind the bluebells (they’re next up for immortalisation):
workspacedrawings

Raw unfired illustrated cup, using a combination of slips, underglazes and sgraffito marks:freesia cupBisque-fired bowl, ready to be glazed – here the colours start to show more true:freesia bisque

Final glazed version of the bowl:

freesias

 

Botanicals: blossom


blossom glazed

Starting to explore more botanical ideas on my illustrated earthenware. Just enjoying picking up on what’s around me as I walk around the studio, it may be in Barton Hill but there are still loads of spring blossom trees and other inspirations… this is a little apple blossom journey that turned into a couple of mini espresso cups and will be rolled out onto bowls etc if the design works well after glazing…

blossom studyblossom espresso vignette

IMG_2395

buds cup budsblossom bowl inner

All ready for market…

Everything ready to go for the market on Saturday… flights of wall swallows; owls and owlets; snowflakes and Japanese waterlilies…. click a snap to start the slideshow.

And yes, it’s all for sale!

adventuring…

Well, despite getting my camera all happy and serviced last week I didn’t take it out with me this weekend on my numerous adventures around the cube, stokes croft street fest, the lido, the dancing-round-your-living-room party, leigh woods, more lido and easton.  So here is a picture of some pea soup i made recently – it has the tenuous connection of being the last time I picked wild garlic in the woods which i also did today… and its the kind of thing that people seem to expect from blogs.  Utterly irrelevant.

Trying to sift out all i wrote today and make something sweet and beautiful out of it before my untidy mind and inbuilt nihilism make it feel ragged and tired and less worthwhile.  Lone soul wandering I find myself on a word journey.  Parcels of words seem to flock together in a way while cycling through woodlands that forces me stop and record them every time I come to a patch of sunlight in trees.  Often I smile into the air to myself at thoughts I’m having; little impromptu incarnations of the now, recessed and looked at through the inner kaleidoscope.  The world refracted through me – no-one else will ever know it.

Navel-gazey morning drinking coffee on the sunlit sofa turns into navel-gazey afternoon on two wheels; passing through woods and suburbs, by turns the rankling whiffs of sun-stewed car upholstery and the divine breaths of hot mayflower from the froth-blossomed hawthorn.  I am happier than I was Thurs/Friday:  I have met new people and old faces; bumped into nascent frineds; spent time with good friends who I see little and had unannounced visits from best soul mates.  I need these little pots of interaction to stand me as fuel for the solitary days.  Fill my mind with something to think about, turn over… the trouble is, I love to wallow in melancholia, touch everything with an elegiac mournfulness – and what better day to wallow than a sultry sunday afternoon?  Its definitely some kind of perverse pleasure in life but i need to keep a hold of when to put the brakes on, when to stop my malicious psyche turning these things into sources of self doubt.  I met someone on Friday whose collarbones proclaimed that ‘everything in life is a balloon’.  I love this thought – it has so many uses.  Think i need to internalise this idea as a possibility.  Remember that everything can be filled with air and let go on the breeze and that its all brightly coloured and beautiful; shiny and transient.  (ok, go no further missy, stop envisaging the sad balloons in the corner of the party that are half-deflated and a little baggy around the edges…)

I can’t make sense of my two sides, the creature of such terminally tragic thoughts walks hand in hand with the self-reliant entity wrapped up in my own impenetrable world which no-one sees.  Sometimes I am both all at once.  I wonder if it is the fear that no-one might ever discover what I really think that creates these vacuums of dystopia that I can disappear into for days….

Its all about nature at the moment.  My senses are filled with hawthorn flowers.  I wrote a list of things I like today, including finding slow worms, and an hour later found one curved in a flourish on the path in front of me.  A big beetle hit me in the face as I cycled.  A bumble bee was swept up as I biked into its trajectory.  Kate and I decided that my flat is on the Maybug flight path due to all their unwanted clumsy buzzing traffic through the wide open windows.  I look up from beside the fishing pond at Pill and all I can see are oak leaves in the most intense shades of luminous green and shadow black against a sunlit sky of pale eye-blue. The path along the river is all glaring yellow hedgerow flowers which I try and fail to pick with my left hand as i cycle, blue horizons, thick grasses and hazy rolling flats.

I have had the most fantastic of ear worms today, so good I sing along as I ride my bike too fast for a winding pedestrian sunday path.  Air Algiers by Country Joe, ‘hopped on a plane from oakland new york, oakland new york, new york to marseilles, hopped on a plane oakland new york to marseilles, pigs on my trail, hey I got to make my get away.  I got a one way ticket, I’m flying air algiers; think i’ll go to the Kasbah, cool it for a couple of years’  and Blackbird by the Beatles, ‘blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings* and learn to fly, you were only waiting for this moment to be free, black bird fly, into the light of a dark black night.’ (* i always wondered if the bird had broken wings already and was being told to go out and fly them anyway or if it was being given broken wings as a present…not sure which is the sadder picture in my head)

Chance and felicity smiled on me yesterday as I went several times to the door of the cube and rang the bell to retrieve my lost phone… i was met each time with the pitch black square letter box of silence until I was rescue by an unscheduled keyholder…would have been quite a different weekend if i had been incommunicado for the whole time. i shudder to think, and shudder to be so dependent on such a little slip of black plastic wizardry.