Summer Market Season 2014

Come along to a summer fair and meet the artist, see all the lovely As the Crow Flies ceramics and home wares for yourself! Find out where:

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Functional pots; responding to India

I need to work further into this idea, but I was charmed by India’s functional usage of pots. Although the use of unglazed earthenware vessels as diposable street-ware is dwindling sadly, it’s still perfectly normal to drink tea or lassi from a crude, beautiful, unique little pot in the street (and surreptitiously squirrel it in my bag rather than dash it to the ground!). They are so conical in shape, with tiny bases – designed for handheld use, not setting a table. I got home and couldn’t wait to try churning out a set of these…

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Functional pottery, Indian style

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In Rajasthan, just as city merchant districts can have streets full of nothing but bathroom fittings or paper ream shops (Old Delhi is a stunning example of this premise), out in the sticks you can come across an entire village of potters.   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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Beautiful new porcelain ware

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.

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Experimenting with Flamingos

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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.

Peacock platters

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!peacock platter pairFinished articles.

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Transfer placement on the twice fired earthen ware platter.

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The original peacock painting.

peacock plate 1Platters; Hand decorated and bisque fired and waiting for glaze and peacocks.