Monday, November 8, 2010

A mini post from "Potters' Paradise"

Wilson, Peter, and Marti (Photo Wilson and Marti's camera)

Wilson and Marti from Dunedin, Florida, made a second visit to the studio here and we were able to share a couple more precious hours together. After all the ups and downs of my attempted trip to the USA and the trouble I had with flying, it was so nice that a couple from America came my way instead! So interesting to be able to talk crystalline glazing with Wilson. Wilson was amazed at my lack of technology here too, (I produce what I do with kick wheel, manual kiln, analogue pyrometer, graph paper, an old alarm clock and an antique set of scales to weigh out glaze ingredients....). He loved the trees outside and the kilns, and called our place "Potters' Paradise", which I rather like. It is great when potters can get together like this. It is stimulating seeing different ways of working, and realizing that there are often several ways of solving problems, and developing ideas. I had a productive couple of days on the wheel after their visit, and I am sure that some of the energy I started to find again was very much a result of the visit.

Some new pots drying on a wire rack that I have above a book case. Note the little tooth like cones on the bottom right of the photo. I use these for telling the temperature in the kiln. I like to prepare lots of batches of cones at the same time and leave them in a dry place for me to use when I need them.

I know I promised more trip photos this post, but... I find myself rather tired and it is bed time already so I will leave this one about here. For those who may want to know, I'll be off to a specialist on the 16th of this month about the ear troubles I'm having. I'm not fully recovered yet, but am lots more productive again.

Look... I must add this...!

I had good news today...
When I was stranded in Auckland, rather than moping around, I decided to try to use the time in a positive way. I had purchased a netbook before heading off on my journey, so a spent a few hours putting together a short presentation of photos of my pots. I also had 2 small crystalline glazed pots that I had intended taking to the States and giving away as gifts to people that I would have stayed with.... The good people at the Lopdell House Gallery , kindly had a look at what I had, and after a few days Emailed me to say that they would try selling my work at their Gallery Shop. I sent my first few pots to them last week and received the happy news that the first pot has sold today.

Needless to say, I am delighted. The pot that sold was one that I really loved. The glaze was one where, when I was making it, I had a hunch that a small addition of some manganese to what was already a nice glaze would do something special..., and it did! I know some people work everything out first and are very methodical record keepers when it comes to glazing, but I find that "hunches" are useful.. The downside is that you look at pots later and can't always remember what you did when inspiration took over!

I can also happily report that, as I traveled home, I received a very positive response to my little netbook presentation and small pots in Wellington and Christchurch. I will next be sending work to Christchurch.

Really must post this now, but here are a couple of photos that I took from the ferry on the way from the North Island to the South Island of New Zealand.

To get from Wellington to Picton... you need to cross a good stretch of water. One bonus is that once you are passed the open sea part of the crossing... which can get rough..., your trip concludes with a blissful time of sailing on sheltered water that is overlooked by beautiful hills as you approach Picton.


Arkansas Patti said...

Gosh, are you that tall or are they that short? So glad you got to visit with them again Peter.
That you pot with human power makes you immune to power outages. Good move.
That boat trip looks like great fun.
Please get those ears fixed and feel much better soon.

Linda Starr said...

You're sounding much better, Peter, your visitors are about an hour south of me in Florida. great news about your pots being placed here and there and selling so quickly, love those in the kiln with the narrow tops, very nice. Oh that ferry ride looks wonderful

Tracey Broome said...

Don't you love it when a gallery calls to say they sold your work! Glad to hear you are feeling better. I got to look at your pots once more at the Campbell House and they really are wonderful. I really need that money tree to spring up from the ground so I can buy all the pots I want!

Peter said...

Hi Patti,
I had to smile when I read your question, because we did try several photos to try and make our heights more equal... this was the most equal!! Let's say that there has always been (ask my mother!!) rather a lot of me!

Hi Linda,
Narrow necked pots are a lot of fun to make on the wheel. There is always the challenge of collaring in the clay and keeping enough up at the top of the cylinder of clay to form a neck. I find the process rather addictive!

Hi Tracey,
Ahh, that money tree. I guess that the challenge these days is to grow one that is environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recyclable!! It would have been nice having another look around the Campbell House exhibition at the end of the show. I quite like that time in an exhibition. You get a last look at pots, a chance to say good bye to pots that have become friends, and a quiet time to discover new things and to sum it all up.

ang said...

nice one.. peter congrats..

Dad said...

Nice one Pete! We're glad you have no scruples (pun intended!) using those apothecaries' scales.
Your grandfather purchased them in the early 1900's from a chemist who was selling up, and he used them for weighing out photographic chemicals.
We do like the shapes of your newest pots, and look forward to the finished result (cats permitting). Your photography is superb. When are you going to find the time for a travel book???

Angie said...

Stunning shots ...congrats on the sale ...the first of many there I hope. You appear to have been busy of late but I'm glad you have had a great time with your potter friends.xx

Pat - Arkansas said...

Thanks for the link to your beautiful pottery; I am eaten up with covetedness!

I hope your physician is able to help with your continuing ear problems. You must get well and feel GOOD and make more beautiful pots and finally get to the U.S.

Love the photos from the ferry!

Armelle said...

Salut Peter,
It's 9 o'clock pm, here et je vois que nous avons le même pull-over ;-)
When the interislander will come to Belle-ile-en-mer, we will meet really "in person".
Love to see the narrow necks, and I know now how difficult to make them !!!
As Dad says, no scrupules to use apotheries scales, I do !!! and it's my grand-fathers'one :-)
Your Dad is really wonderfull, would to have the same more Dad since a long time.............
And really wish you a better health now you will meet a specialist of the ears.

Hug you and Laura (cats permitting)
and wish you the best...............

Peter said...

Hi Ang, Dad, Angie, Pat, and Armelle, Thank you so much for your comments, really nice to hear from you all. It is amazing how the internet can bring us all together in this way. I was thinking how you are bringing greetings from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, America and France. For some of us it is Spring and almost summer, for others it is nearly winter!

I always enjoy using my grandfather's scales and the little weights that came with them. For most of my glaze materials I use larger scales (also very old), these are capable of weighing several kilogrammes of material at a time. Grandfather's little weights get used all the time for both scales. How lovely that Armelle uses her grandfather's scales also!

I can see that I will have to find a way of persuading the ferry to travel further than just between the North and the South Islands of New Zealand... A voyage to Belle-ile-en-mer would give the ferry boat a nice holiday which I am sure it would enjoy. The ferry would have to refuel and take on fresh supplies in America of course!!!

Armelle, I am happy to report that the cats do permit hugs! xx :)