Adventures in Porcelain

January and February…the fairs are over, the festivities finished and the earth is hibernating and readying itself for germination. Much the same stage has been reflected here at As the Crow Flies. A really valuable period of reflective thought, sketching ideas, drawing on the ideas touch on in 2015 and pushing them further.

I’ve really enjoyed the chance to process carefully the throwing aims I’ve had, working towards cleaner shapes in porcelain, practising the motions of throwing and enjoying the smooth clean feel of porcelain after working in terracotta for so long. First out of the initial test firing was a Wild Pea serving bowl:

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Seeing the initial effects coming out on a few pieces enabled me to refine and progress the ideas…gradually more things came out of the kiln, building the bones of a new range of Dandelion and Wild Pea shapes; some of which are pictured below:

9 wild peas and dandelions7 wild pea large mug8 new bowls

I’m also pleased to have produced more satisfying wine tumblers and the first forays into vase production, but photos of these will have to come later. The final thing I played with was transposing my popular Nasturtium design from terracotta to porcelain – in tea cup form. Looking very Art Deco with it’s conical shape, I particularly like this example:

nasturtium tea cup

All in all, I feel ready for this year…although I’ll have to put my anticipation on hold for a little while as I am taking a sabbatical from mid-March to mid-July to walk through Mustang in the Himalayas and then cycle the through the Pamirs in Tajikistan up into Kyrgyzstan. I’m sure the inspiration will be myriad so I look forward to posting when I get back.

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Brand New Doily Ware

Particularly pleased with the treasure I found in the kiln this morning…

new doily bowlThis is a new colourway and vintage lace design that I’ve been trialling for my ever-popular Doily Ware range.  The tactile smooth porcelain with it’s warped curves goes beautifully with the intricacy of this hand made lace. Colours include pure cobalt and copper oxides as well as a limited palette of carefully chosen underglaze colours. Shown below is the doily mug and large bowl, with a cobalt blue doily jug using the classic striking vintage lace pattern. I think they complement well.new doily ware 1 Continue reading

Dragonflies and Thistles

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.

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New illustrative work in stoneware and earthenware

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…

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nasturtium mug 1Number two some Birds in Flight sgraffito decorated stomeware bowls…
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Markets this season…

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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

Doily ware – handbuilt porcelain

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!

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IMG_2563doily mugs

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Illustrations: peacocks

Fascinated by peacocks for the past few months so I thought I’d post up the work so far to inspire me to finish the journey… some unfinished business with those birdies.  They do present great possibilities for pattern making:peacockstyle lo

All illustrations and photos ©AsTheCrowFlies 2013

And for experimenting in a bit of art nouveau book illustration style, with black and white and watercolour versions… peacock perched peacock watercolour

Aiming to get these or versions of these onto my ceramics in some shape or form – maybe some printed decals to glaze on.
 
Also tried freehand illustrating in majolica on a bowl too, using copper and cobalt oxides, less controllable than pen and ink but a nice effect… more of this to come!
mr peacock bowl
And it all just started with a little doodlebird:peacock doodle
And ended up a very complicated doodle indeed…
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Virginia take me home

Feeling very pleased, the buttons are in diaspora! Some of my vintage oxide letterpress buttons have recently migrated to Virginia in the U S of A to be made into delicious crochet things by the beautiful Lindsey….

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So pleased they have been put to good use and taken on a creative journey to be used collaboratively with another maker… That hat! I think we should go into business together…

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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!

Pottery from the past year…

So, I’ve finally managed to get around to photographing all the little collections of pots I’ve been gleefully taking home with me over the past year… Most of them are in happy use in my kitchen!

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Taken on my kitchen windowsill with some beautiful Nepali lokhta paper as a ground.