Category Archives: Workshop
With everything in sight being covered in snow and the workshop being so cold over the last few days, I had to abandon the workshop and admire the winter wonderland from inside where it was warm and dry… after sledging, snow ball fights and making snow angels of course!
Whilst in the warm and dry I had the opportunity to update my website a little. You will now find dedicated Valentines Gifts & Mother’s Day Gifts sections in my shop, where pieces have been carefully selected to feature in each category that are perfect gifts for your loved ones. Please feel free to have a browse for gift ideas.
The snow is still hanging around at the moment but it won’t be delaying my work any longer. I have orders to finish and a kiln load of work to be fired at the end of the week. I have had my new kiln almost a year now, and still get excited every time it is loaded with new work!
It’s been a busy few weeks for the start of the new year. I’ve been busy making gifts for Valentines & Mothers Day, as well as a few custom orders – I’ll show you what I’ve been working on in my next post soon. My personalised heart plaques have been popular so I have lots of these drying out at the moment, ready to fire at the end of the month and send out in time for Valentines Day.
Valentines Day must have come early for me this week as I received these beautiful rainbow tulips that look stunning in one of my organic vessels on the kitchen windowsill, and also in one of my elegant dandelion vases. I wonder if I’ll still get flowers on Valentines Day too?
The workshop has been pretty cold to say the least, with clay freezing and pieces not drying out it has been a bit of a nightmare. But it soon gets nice and toasty with the heater on, and I’ve brought some bits inside to dry and defrost!
It has been snowing all morning here today, and we are expecting 5 – 10 inches by this afternoon so I doubt I’ll be doing much in the workshop this weekend – I think sledging is on the agenda!
Although it’s still winter and there’s lots of talk of snow, here’s something completely contrasting… I’ve been making some new beach huts and seaside inspired pieces. Can’t wait for the sun to shine again.
From 2nd March – 14th April 2013, twelve of my mini ceramic landscapes on easels will be featured in an exhibition at The Beetroot Tree Gallery in Derbyshire, called ‘Miniature Magnified‘. Here are three of the twelve below. They all have individual names and will be for sale during the exhibition. I have more available on my website here.
Below: ‘Blue Skies’, ‘Frosty Puddle’ & ‘In The Countryside’.
NEW to my website this month are a variety of new bowls. They are all similar in shape and form but each one was made slightly differently, making them unique with their own little quirky features. Each bowl is also decorated with different textures and colours. They have a few different names including mushroom bowls and flower pod bowls. Feel free to browse my website to have a look at the new bowl range. Which is your favourite and what would you use it for?
I have one of these bowls at home that I like to put small pieces of jewellery in, but I also like to display them on their own to admire the colour in the bases. They also make great tea light holders.
Lastly, thought I would share this lovely photo from a customer of one of my vases settled in its new home.
Think thats all for now, I’m off to the post office to post this weeks orders before the snow gets worse. Have a great snowy weekend!
It’s nice to see everything finally coming together after spending long evenings out in the workshop. I’ve worked hard to complete as many custom orders as I can, and will be firing the kiln next week. I can’t wait to see the results and hope my customers are happy. Unfortunately I will not be taking any more orders before Christmas as I won’t have the time, but there are still plenty of unique items and gift ideas in my shop.
This is where I’ve been hiding out most evenings!
I’m particularly excited to see the results of these place mats. It’s an order for a set of six from a customer I met at the Lamport Hall craft & gift fair last month. Having never made place mats before, I hope they turn out ok.
These leaf bowls are coming along nicely. Each leaf shape is individually hand drawn onto sheets of rolled out clay before forming into a bowl. I enjoy drawing the shapes and experimenting with new forms.
Once glazed and fired, the bowls will look something like this below. These are examples of previous bowls I have made with melted glass in the bases. I’m hoping to achieve more colourful results in the next batch, although that doesn’t always go to plan when the kiln has a mind of it’s own!
This time of year is a bit of a nightmare in the workshop. I’m finding the clay is taking much longer to dry compared to in the summer months. I might have to start bringing pieces inside the house where it is warm and cosy to finish off the drying out process soon.
A selection of custom orders are in progress at the moment. I love working on custom pieces, especially because each piece is unique. It’s nice to work on something different if I’ve had enough of making lots of similar pieces.
The workshop is looking slightly more tidy than usual, due to my photo shoot with the Daventry Express newspaper last week. A photographer came to photograph me with some of my work for a special Christmas craft feature for local handmade products. I’m looking forward to seeing the photos although I think they might look rather cheesy…
I’ve been enjoying the last of the last of the summer sun this week, busying away in the workshop with the door open, preparing for the cooler autumn days to start.
As well as working on new stock for upcoming fairs, I have also enjoyed making some one-off custom pieces for customers. Although I love receiving all orders, custom requests are my favourite because I know a specific piece is being made especially for someone which makes it even more special.
Alongside keeping busy out in the workshop this week I have also been on a lovely (but super long) bike ride where I was able to view lots of stunning countryside. The bike ride started along a local canal with the intention of stopping off at a pub for a drink and then cycling back, which didn’t quite go to plan…
As we arrived so far at the end of the canal we had to change direction and go over a bridge, following what we thought was the direction to the next village, until we realised we had turned the wrong way about 5 miles in the wrong direction! But it was good fun finding a different route home.
A lot of the inspiration for my work comes from trees, so it was interesting to climb the ‘tree top walk’ in Salcey Forest last weekend. It was a little scary looking down but I managed to capture a few good photographs.
Hope you’ve had a good week!
I’ve been busy in the workshop catching up on orders lately. Mostly during the evenings making the most of the warm nights. I love ‘hiding out’ in the workshop with my music and being surrounded by clay. It has been nice to have so many orders to work on… Making specific pieces for customers is one of my most enjoyable things to do.
As well as working on orders, I’m also slowly but surely building up stock for galleries and the upcoming craft fairs and events I’ll be exhibiting at once autumn/winter kicks in. I’m looking forward to getting back into the craft fair season, which for me is usually the best time to sell my work as people like to buy gifts ready for Christmas.
The countryside has given me lots of fresh inspiration while we’ve been having these spurts of warm weather. I have been enjoying some lovely scenic walks.
I am very excited to be taking part in the ‘Wolds and Coasts’ exhibition at Gallery 49 in Yorkshire this month. Plenty of my seaside inspired pieces such as vases, bowls, coasters and beach huts are currently displayed in the exhibition which is on until 1st September. Well worth a visit if you are in the area!
I also made some special hanging mobiles with incorporated sea glass especially for the exhibition. They look great entwined with shells, driftwood and ceramic pieces, and fit in with the theme of the exhibition well.
It’s been a while since Molly showed her face on my blog… I couldn’t resist adding this photo! I had a large box delivered last week and instead of throwing the box away, I kept it open to see if she would lay in it. Surpruse surprise… Molly loves it so I guess I’ll be keeping it for now.
It has gone from one extreme to the other out in the workshop over the past couple of weeks… Last week it was cold and damp with everything taking an age to dry out, and with the heater on to keep warm. Whereas this week it is actually physically too hot to be in the workshop, and everything is drying out in no time at all! The insulation lining on the walls is great for keeping the heat in during winter, but it also keeps it in during summer!
Yesterday I moved a work bench outside and managed to get lots of glazing done in the sunshine. I also managed to find some time to have a big clear out and tidy up last week, so it is feeling a lot more organised and makes a nice change not to be working in messy chaos. I found a few lingering spiders hiding in the corners too!
I’ve loved all of the custom requests I had this month. It has been great creating new pieces that are different and to someone else’s specification. A few custom requests to mention have been a seahorse in a frame, a large bonsai tree planter (detail below), some custom engraved ceramic gift tags, a new born baby plaque, and some other bits, as well as all the other pieces I mentioned last week.
I’m also currently preparing a selection of work for an exciting Coastal themed exhibition starting in July – more details on that soon!
The kiln will be loaded tomorrow lunch time so I’m looking forward to peering inside at my next batch of finished pieces in a few days.
Not bad for a days work at the weekend, and on a Sunday too!
The rain had finally cleared up for a couple of days at the weekend here, so it was nice to have the workshop door open with honey bee’s buzzing in and out. I’m pleased with the progress of some new pieces, in particular the new shaped vases, so will look forward to firing those.
I’ve been having fun ordering some new glazes today, the names of some of the colours sound good enough to eat! Vanilla Bean Speckle, Pistachio Spice, Fudge Marble, Mocha Cream… Look out for new colours introduced to my work very soon!
A couple of weeks ago I was making the most of the sunshine and gave the workshop a well needed lick of varnish. I’m glad this job was done now that we’ve had so much rain over the past week. I took some before and after shots… look at the difference!
This was Molly’s idea of helping…
I also had some exciting news a couple of weeks ago. If you are a ‘liker’ of my Facebook page you may have noticed me mention a new book called ‘The Workshop Guide to Ceramics‘ by Quarto Publishing in one of my updates.
I received my complimentary copy of the book in the post (which is a brilliant book, by the way), and guess what?! My website is featured in the Professional Practice section under ‘How to Promote Your Work’.
Since the arrival of my new kiln a couple of weeks ago I have been so anxious and excited waiting to fill it up with new work. It is great to now be able to fire so many more pieces at a time, as my old kiln was so small. When loading the kiln yesterday I realised I had been a little too keen and made too much so not everything will fit, but the few left over pieces can go in the next firing.
The kiln was ‘broken in’ during it’s dry-out firing last week, and now that it is loaded with work it is ready to turn on this evening. So exciting!
The workshop is looking bare and a bit sorry for itself now that there is not a single piece of work in progress to be seen. But that will give me a chance to have a spring clean and tidy up before I start making more work and more mess!
In-between making new work while listening to music and drinking lots of tea, I managed to find some time to sit down and do a few sketches last week. I’ve wanted to make some wall planters for a while now, and these are the first few I’ve made below. I’m very happy with them so far, they will look great in the garden for summer. Can’t wait to see what they turn out like.
By popular demand, more mini ceramic landscape art coming soon. Many of these will be sent to one of my new stockists – Ashdown Gallery in Sussex, but there will also be some new ones available on my website next week too.
Sorting glass ready for melting… one of my favourite jobs!
And finally a snapshot of some pieces in progress last week… Come back soon to see what they turned out like!
Hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend full of sunshine! I’m away camping for the weekend so fingers crossed this sunny weather continues
The workshop is full of pieces of work in progress at all different stages at the moment. I love being able to choose what to work on, and swap to something else after a while. I’ve been going mad on bowls recently as they have been flying out of my website shop. What do you think of my new leaf shaped bowls?
I can see so many different shaped leaves while looking out of the workshop window, which influenced me to make a leaf shaped bowl last week, and then they just continued from there! I’m really pleased with them. They will be glazed today, ready for firing.
Stacks of Christmas pudding decorations are under way too, as the first batch completely sold out. This is only a few of them shown below!
I’ve had many requests for custom made pieces this month, and I’m currently working on orders for a bird bath, a large numbered house plaque, a clock with a mouse on the top, and a matching soap dish and toothbrush holder. You can see the toothbrush holder below, amongst vases, an unfinished plant pot and other bits and pieces.
Although the weather has been pretty chilly lately, I’ve been nice and toasty in the workshop with the heater on and I soon get warmed up once I start working and listening to music
This Sunday I will be exhibiting at the Contemporary Craft Shopping Experience at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre near Leamington, CV31 1XN. Now in it’s third year, this popular show is always one of my favourites and I can’t wait for all of the festive fun on the day, hopefully I’ll be able to finish my Christmas shopping too. There will be over 100 stalls jam packed full of handmade loveliness. Hope to see you there!
Don’t forget my last order date is 10th December for all custom made and personalised orders – don’t leave it too late! However if you do miss the deadline I will try my best to squeeze any extra orders in, but please contact me first.