Cast Munchkin Pumpkins!

Yes, Halloween is long gone. But since writing a post about making plaster casts, I have been busy making as many munchkin pumpkins as I can! And I love the results! As you can see I’m channelling my inner Kate Malone.

Unless specified otherwise these pumpkins were glazed using Botz glazes. As you’ll see below some are wild pinks, blues and metallic! Whereas others are more natural looking with greens, browns and white.

Some of these pumpkins have already been picked up by family but I will make sure I get a few on etsy asap!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Love

PS xxIMG_20171219_231645_667.jpg

(Above: pink and blue pumpkin is glazed in Amaco Potters Choice)

(Below: metallic pumpkin is Amaco glaze Palldium)

 

(Brown and blue pumpkin below is Amaco Potters Choice glazes)

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Christmas Goodies!

It’s Christmas! I think it’s finally safe to say… and as such, I have been making Christmas themed goodies! All hand made by yours truly. Check out my Etsy Shop!

Christmas Tree decorations! Two for £5. Two designs in four colours:

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Snowflake Vases (20cm tall) £20 each!

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And a load of other lovely things including bowls, vases and mugs!

PS xx

Lisa Hammond (Maze Hill) Open Studio! 2/3 Dec

The wonderful Lisa Hammond of Maze Hill Pottery also has an open studio this weekend! 2nd – 3rd December, down in Greenwich 10am – 6pm. They have a particularly fun part to the weekend – a kiln opening! Saturday at 11am. Alongside Lisa, Darren Ellis and Dominic Upson have their work for sale.

I’ve never been to Maze Hill, to be honest I just assumed Lisa Hammond worked in Stoke. However it looks like an incredible space, a former ticket office not far from the UNESCO Maritime Greenwich area.

I met Lisa at Ceramic Art London this year, and she was so friendly and approachable. She talked about the way in which they achieved the glaze effect on their mugs.

I’m going to do my best to get to both Kate Malone’s studio and Maze Hill. If you’re going along too do say hello!

PS xx

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Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour

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In the summer Beloved and I were back in the midlands and decided at quite short notice, to visit the Emma Bridgewater Factory!

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The Factory offers Experience Days, Factory Tours, a cafe and decorating studio! We tried to book onto the Experience Day (£30 pp) which included the tour, afternoon tea and a half pint jug for decorating, however we were booking at short notice and there was not enough room for two of us. So, instead we went for the Factory Tour (£2.50 per adult, under 16s free) and booked a slot shortly after in the Decorating Studio.

The tour was one hour and led by a lovely knowledgable lady who took us through from the mixing machines where the special slip is prepared, through the slip casting room, drying areas, kilns and finally the large decorating area! It was wonderful to see everyone working together and seemingly having a great time – there was a real sense of community and pride in the work they were producing.

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Following the tour and the sneak peak at the new christmas range – Beloved and I headed to the decorating studio, where people are able to use the left over sponges used in the original designs, to decorate all kinds of pots, mugs and plates! We chose two espresso mugs and two plates. Beloved had a great time decorating a little espresso mug for Little One (she isn’t a coffee drinker – YET – but she loves dinosaurs), whereas I decided to have a go at making Little One some colourful plates. Getting an even sponge print is harder than it looks!

The decorating studio was wonderful and for £5 you can post as much as you want to anywhere in the UK! And three weeks later, what a lovely delivery to receive.

Overall we really enjoyed the visit – even Beloved recognised Emma Bridgewater pieces. The Factory Tour was extremely reasonable and the decorating studio was well equipped and reasonably priced. And there were vouchers all over the tickets and bookings for both the seconds shop and the gift shop, so you really could grab yourself a bargain!

If you find yourself in Stoke or the midlands, it’s definitely worth a visit, even at short notice!

PS xx

p.s. Apologies, I wrote a post on this months ago, but somewhere between uploading the photos on my phone and writing the blog post on my laptop, it disappeared?! So As you can see from the date on the plates, we visited in Factory in August, not November!

Kate Malone Open Studios 2017!

It’s Christmas in just over four weeks. Leaving that mad thought aside for a moment, one fantastic thing about the coming festive period is OPEN STUDIOS!

As any avid reader of my blog knows, I’m a huge Kate Malone fan and I have every intention of heading down to her beautiful studio again this December! It’s very soon – 2nd and 3rd December from 11am – 7pm and will have the wonderful  Anna Barlow (lovely melty icecreams!), Miray Mehmet Fontanelli, Erika Albrecht and the one and only Richard Miller of Froyle Tiles (and throw down fame).

It’s a little tricky to find, in that her studio is a mews and so behind the main street, but that makes it all the more wonderful! A little piece of secret, ceramics heaven hidden away. I went there last year via Highbury and Islington and took a bus a short way, but Dalston Junction is also just around the corner. But lets face it, who doesn’t have Google Maps or something else to help get about? (Postcode N1 4DX).

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I went on the second day last year and bagged myself the most luscious pumpkin from her Waddesdon Mannor collection, but from what I can see this year from Kate’s Instagram she is making some pieces especially for the weekend and to support the Clay College in Stoke, of which she is a patron! I’d recommend going as early as possible on the first day, not to miss out on any goodies you might want to pick up. Not only are there little goodies, Kate also has a pretty large selection of bigger magma and vegetable/organic items available. (I’m kicking myself for not buying the most amazing pair of magma candle holders last year. I think I’ll be regretting that till my last day. Anyway). Or go along at any time you can make! It’s genuinely an incredible experience to be allowed into an artist’s workspace, to meet her and to see her work and creative environment.

What I really, really loved about going last year was the fact that Kate is there happily chatting away to everyone, handing out mince pieces and drinks like she’s known everyone for years! She’s an incredibly warm lady and her enthusiasm for clay is absolutely infectious. Where else, in what other community, can someone so iconic be so down to earth and wonderful? I bloody love clay.

So. I guess I’ll see you all soon!

PS xx

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Two Glazes:One pot!

Earlier this year I wanted to make some high contrast pots. I invested in some Amaco Potters Choice glazes. However my lighter colour choice, toasted sage, came out more grey than white.

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I decided that the Amaco Celadons, which can be used with the Potters Choice looked a lot like the Mayco Foundations glazes I have and thought I might try out a combination piece! I did two layers of Mayco and two of Amaco and fired at the higher Amaco glaze temperature and I’m really happy with the results!

One little bowl and two espresso cups

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The glazes are Mayco Milk Bottle White, Amaco Seaweed (green) and Indigo Float (blue).

This was the contrast effect I was looking for with the bowl and mugs I made for my work colleagues – but at least now I know for the future how to get the glaze effect I want!

PS xx

Second glazing

Following on from my single firing post – where the glazed greenware came out in one piece, but the glaze hadn’t been quite as dynamic as I had hoped… I re-glazed everything and fired again!

In order for the glaze to take well I heated the mugs/bowls etc using a hair dryer and added thin layers of extra glaze, two extra coats in total. I also added an extra stripe of green or blue as the best interaction was between the indigo float and seaweed.

I don’t think the toasted sage Amaco Potters Choice glaze is a great one for encouraging movement and interaction between the two glazes, in the same way the tenmoku glaze is, but nonetheless I am much happier with the results so I thought I’d share a couple of before and after photos!

Here is an example of the mug, with an added stripe of blue:

And this is the bowl!

I like the green seaweed and the indigo float, but I want to find a better base for the two of them. The range seems to focus on darker under coats, which wasn’t what I was after. The only other lighter colour seems to be oatmeal which is quite yellow-y from the picture.

Actually the toasted sage comes out quite grey as the photos show, which in of itself is a lovely tone but wasn’t as light as I’d hoped it to be. But at least now I know I have a nice grey glaze – so every cloud has a silver (toasted sage!) lining!

A couple more things using this glaze combination and tenmoku in my etsy shop – check it out!

PS xx