Some of you said that you enjoyed seeing the photo of the Blue Morris Minor in my previous post. To give you a real treat, here are four photos of our friend James the Chairmaker departing for his home in Lawrence aboard the his trusty Mildred, his blue pride and joy.
Quite some time ago I was commissioned to make a very special tea pot for someone. The real challenge was that the teapot had to in some way depict a hill that is near Palmerston. The hill is called Puketapu, which means sacred hill in Maori. Palmerston is a village that is about a ten minute drive North of us.
Puketapu, the hill, is conical, and has a monument on top. The monument is not commemorating something from Maori history, but is a memorial to Sir John McKenzie, a politician who died in 1901, you can read all about him if you follow the link.
I have taken ages to really get started on this commission, the challenge of depicting Puketapu has meant that I have known that it would take a lot of time to sort out, and my time has been rather broken up and pressured over the last considerable while. Now that my studio is organized enough to actually be a place of work again, I have thrown my efforts into getting the teapot done.
On Sunday I made about one dozen teapot bodies of various shapes and sizes. It was a hard slog at first, and I nearly gave up at 4pm due to tiredness and lack of success.
It is difficult working with ideas that don't quite reveal themselves. You just have to keep on and on and on in the hope that something will become clear.
Teapot with rather scorpion like thrown handle! A bit scary this! Basalt dust is sieved onto the wet slip.For much of the first day, I had been chasing a wide bottomed teapot shape, with the thought that I could give a feeling of the hill with its monument on top in the profile of the pot.
Teapot with powdered schist rock and copper carbonate over wet slip. Handle looks a bit apologetic. Maybe it would be better turned into an aeroplane rudder!I got fairly close sometimes, but had problems as soon as a handle was brought into the equation. The handle, which had to make the teapot usable, often destroyed the hill form.
Humm, a bit like the circus has come to town! Puketapu shown as slip decoration. Might be OK when glazed over.Happily, the one that worked best when I threw it on the wheel, also turned out to be the one that my client really liked when she saw it. I was so pleased by this, as I really like the pot too. It is unfussy and the little handle up front that supplements the main handle should make it reasonably easy to use.
Puketapu, and just enjoyed myself.
I hope to make some more pots tomorrow like the one that my client wants. These will be insurance, as there are still many things that can go wrong between now and the time the pot comes out of the kiln.
Here are the two pots that I showed in the last post. Now both have a coat of slip on. Glaze will go on top of this.
We had a pleasant visit from my parents on Monday and on Tuesday as they were passing by our door. It was good to catch up.
Notice how spring like things are looking in the photo of mum and dad. The photo was taken on the first day of spring. Snow to low levels is forecast for tonight, and it feels like it out there now too!
Ah well, time for bed, lots more work to do tomorrow!