We were recently part of a local craft day and had our place open to the public with me demonstrating on the wheel, whilst Laura talked with people in our gallery. We had a busy few weeks getting work ready for the day, and Laura painted some really lovely imaginary fish. Most of the fish were designed to hang on the wall, but I made little wooden stands for some of the others.
Sadly we may have only had 25 people through in total, so sales were a mug, a small bowl, and a card, which was a bit of a disappointment, but we are thankful to those who visited and we have got the place well stocked up for the summer season!
I had intended having some new porcelain paperweights for the open day, but only 2 of the 11 paper weights enjoyed their glaze firing... the remaining 9 were either under fired, over fired, or just plain stubborn and would not grow crystals! It was a complete contrast to the excellent firing I had the time before!
I contemplated trying to get another kiln of crystalline pots fired before the open day, but was too short of time... so had to do what the sign a the end of our street says...and Stop!
Instead I glazed a kiln load of 2 large, kiln filling pots and a medium sized one as I was desperate for new work to go to the Potter's Co-op for a window display that we were scheduled to have in the days running up to the open studio here.
The jug, or pitcher, on the left is about 19 and a half inches high (49.5cm).
I used a Cone 3 glaze of my own, that I had tested on something small a few years before, but had never put on anything large. I was delighted by the result. The glaze is an alkaline copper blue and it was nice to see the colour variation where the glaze was thick or thin.
Laura snapped this photo of the Co-op window display on her phone.
Once the Open Day was over with, I spent the next week glazing pots for a firing of my wood fired kiln. The studio soon fills up with pots in various states of glazing, and it is quite a art finding enough space to fit everything.
It is a relief to get the pots out of the studio, and the kiln loaded.
I would love to report a great firing, but it wasn't... I got things too hot! I over fired many of the pots due to a series of errors and a poor decision on my part, so I lost almost everything that was copper red, and some celadon pots were very unattractive.
In spite of all that, there were some gems!
These small porcelain bottles are probably my favourite things from the firing.
A shino jar.
A 6 cup coffee pot (or teapot if you would rather!)
A tea pot. The handle was made up from three tubes that were thrown on the potter's wheel, then split in half.
Shino seems very forgiving, and can cope with a wide range of temperature. This is a spoon organiser.
And a tiny 3 inch high jug (7.6cm)
I like this urn. It isn't quite the colour I intended, but it is dignified and peaceful. The lid was quite difficult to make, as it has to fit inside and outside the pot.
We were delighted to have a visit from a Sarah, who is a Christchurch potter. She spent 4 days working away in my studio with me, and it was nice to have company in the studio and 2 wheels going at the same time.
I am busy getting more work ready to fire in the wood fired kiln. The unusual looking thing on the right of this photo is a porcelain candlestick. I rather enjoyed making it, and hope to develop the idea further and make a candelabra for several candles.