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MONTHLY MISSIVE - Catch up on July

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I have already written this blog with great care and lyricism and them lost it all when a photo refused to move as I wished it. I do not think I have the heart to repeat it all that I wrote before but will try to get something out there before some malicious gremlin evaporates it again.

POTTING NEWS

Have had a mega busy time of it trying to get enough stock together to cover the back to back shows of Art in Action and Potfest in the Park.

to do list ← most of this never got done and I will be writing an equally long list in a couple of weeks' time when I can bear to think about Christmas production.

Seem to have spent the year just running flat out in order to keep my head above water - oh the joy of a mixed metaphore.

Unpacking kilns and transporting warm pots has been this year's modus operandi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART IN ACTION

Such were my nerves that I forgot half my lights, my mult-plug extension leads and toolbox. Wonderful potter friends lent me things to fill the gaps and I was able to set up my stand. Unloading had been a little tricky as the site was awash with mud. Driving on the tracks was like skating on slurry. Armies of volunteers were spreading bark chippings around and new carparks had to be found and bus services set up to get the public on and off site. Amazingly it all worked and by Sunday the mud had dried to dust and take-down was easy.........but I'm running ahead of myself. My stand had to fend for itself as I spent most of the 4 days teaching throwing. This felt rather peculiar, just leaving it, but was very lucky to have a friend look after it for some of the time and she did sterling service. Also the central cash desk and tent volunteers did a great job and sales were good.

It was very interesting to be teaching something that is now so instinctive that my head can be in Barchester with a Trollop adaptation on the radio and my hands are just getting on with it. Found myself repeating phrases that I had been told by the various potters who have taught me along the way. Unfortunately I mainly learnt in France so found myself making direct translations such as, 'don't exagerate that gesture'. Fortunately my students survived this and went away seemingly very happy with various pots on paper plates.

But I loved the show. Was really well looked after as a teacher, was with a great group of fellow potters, and it was such a joy to see such fantastic quality Crafts and Art on display and being demonstrated. Cannot image how anyone would fail to enjoy a day there with so much animation and skill on display. Am a total convert and want all my family and friends to visit it next year.

POTFEST IN THE PARK

Had very quick turn around once I got home. Just enough time to fire a bisque on the Sunday night: decorate all day Monday and fire another bisque in the evening; wait for pots to cool on Tuesday and then glaze them in the evening in order to start the kiln at 1:20 am on Wednesday: unpack kiln on Thursday morning and drive up the A1 with warm pots packed in boxes.

It's always a pleasure to be back at Hutton in the Forest for Potfest in the Park. Beautiful setting with a wonderful walled garden, great organisation, lovely customers who take anything that the weather can throw at them in their stride, quality pots and a chance to catch up with potter friends from all over the world. As usual I forgot to take my camera but here are some photos of my competition piece taken prior to heading north. The theme was 'journeys and pilgrimages' and my piece was called 'preparing to migrate'. I did not win anything but had some really lovely compliments, sold most of the pieces, really enjoyed the challenge of it and will certainly make more similar pieces in the future. There are more photos of everyone elses work on the Potfest website, www.potfest.co.uk .

preparing to migrate 

globe bird 1 globe bird 2 globe bird 3 globe bird 4 globe bird 5

BACK TO NORMAL

After having been so focused on getting the stock together for the 2 shows, I wombled around a bit aimlessly for a few days, almost as if I was recouperating from a long illness. Had to pull myself together and get down to making some long promised but much delayed commissions. Got very over excited with all the Olympic commentary
on the radio. Was permanently plugged into 5 live.

Am now once again waiting for a bisque kiln to cool so that I can glaze and fire the pots so that a bowl can be whisked away (no doubt still warm) to a wedding on the Isle of Wight. Test Match Special is playing (oh joy - KP has been dropped - jubilation) and it will soon be time to think about Christmas.

INSECT AND MOLLUSC NEWS

Half my pumpkin plants were eaten and wiped out by squash vine borers.

I am being eaten by harvest mites and mosquitos

Discovered today that the dog biscuits are being eaten by weevils. A whiff of the nautical life in my landlocked county.

Brown slugs, 'as big as sausages' to quote my 90+ year old neighbour are eating all my vegetables. I have taken to cutting them in half with my 'secateurs of death'.

 

 

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