Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Making mugs, drying jugs, and visiting Hampden

I made two dozen mugs today, and should be able to put the handles on first thing tomorrow morning. I made a similar number earlier in the week. Other tasks this week included getting a bisque firing done, and trying to persuade my larger jugs (pitchers) to dry in weather that, though pleasant, is getting ever colder as autumn enfolds us. I took this picture today of a group of my larger jugs "sunbathing" in my studio in attitudes of complete abandon on a table.

I dry pots upside down when I can, but inverting these would probably injure their spouts, so I have resorted to a more relaxed pose for them.

Here follow a few more photos of things that are inspirational.

The seed pods of Harakeke (Phormium tenax) New Zealand Flax

These seed pods fascinate me. Their sculptural form is wonderful at all stages, from flowering to the final demise of the pod after it has opened. Harakeke are also an important source of food for several species of bird.

Driftwood on the beach makes interesting textures

and can record the lapping of the waves at high tide in sweeping curves and wiggles.

Seagulls with wet feet make repeat patterns

or mass together as dots and speckles.

To the North

and to the South, headlands push out to sea, or contain the bay like protecting arms.

The river pools, trickles, and chuckles its way to the sea.

The photos of the coast were taken about half an hour's drive to the North of us at a village called Hampden. Hampden has streets named after English towns such as Lincoln, Norwich, Ipswich, Durham, Lancaster, Chester, Shrewsbury, York, and Carlisle. Wikipedia defines it as as a "populated area less than a town", which seems a little unfair. I think that you could have a very nice holiday there camping in the Hampden Beach Motor Camp near the sea.


Linda Starr said...

What a great idea to dry the pots on their sides. Phormium is, almost, over used in the landscape here in California and yet I have never seen it in flower or with pods, they are very striking, I have several of the bronze variety growing here. I love the ocean, when I visit there, it always feels lonely, comforting and cleansing all at the same time.

Peter said...

Linda, it's funny, I think Phormium is an acquired taste as far as its looks goes. I've grown to love it over time. The flowers have pollen that is a strong yellow/orange colour. When the birds feed on the flowers they get a very showy stripe of pollen on their heads! I must see if I have a photo of the flowers somewhere. For now there are a couple of photos at and quite a few show up doing a Google Image search.
You are right about the sea. Interesting how the vastness and the untameability (if there is such a word) of it can do one good! P.